Food, Friendship, and a Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Food is good. Good friends are the best. And the best friends keep you from starving.

The last few weeks, I haven’t really been prioritizing my healthy habits like I usually do. I was emotionally tired and decided to substitute dinner with wine. Most of my friends would probably say that’s pretty unlike me, but hey it happens to the best of us. Not a big deal as long as you don’t develop permanent bad habits.

All of us have low moments whether we’re dealing with work stress, personal issues, or just lost our mojo. And we all cope very differently! Some of us cope by working out, reaching out to our social circle, falling into our vices, getting more involved with hobbies, pretending everything is normal, shutting out, or with a combination of a few things. Sometimes, we get lucky and our friends (or family) check up on us and give us an emotional hug or a kick in the butt to get us back on our game, depending what we need. Those are the best friends. The ones that call out of the blue. The ones that invite themselves over. The ones who love us along with our flaws and not only put up with our “craziness”, but get us to partake in their craziness. And I mean that only in the best way. Some of my favorite memories with my friends are the most ridiculous ones.

Anyways, I’m terrible at being social during weekdays. I live alone and after work, I usually want to work out, cook dinner, catch up on errands, read some stupid articles or blog posts, catch up on shows on Hulu, or possibly check out a dance social if I’m feeling adventurous. I’m pretty independent like that. However, hanging out with my favorite people is good for my soul (as it is for most us, as we are a social species) and revives me a little when I fall into a slump. So this week, instead of cooking alone, my friend and I cooked together. Actually, we cooked enough for a large family so we had plenty of leftovers for the next few days so I didn’t have to rely on wine for substance for a while. While I developed this friendly relationship with wine, man did it make me feel weak at the gym. That’s probably because I also replaced a few gym sessions with wine sessions (is that a thing?). I don’t have any regrets about it either, but I am ready to get back to the gym. So in light of getting back into healthy habits, here’s the recipe for the delicious and nutritious hearty dinner we made:

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Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers

6 servings (1 stuffed pepper is a serving)

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (1.5 lbs)
  • Bell Peppers (6)
  • Black Beans (1 can)
  • Pinto Beans (1 can)
  • Corn (1 can or frozen)
  • Onion (1 large)
  • Spinach or lettuce
  • Jasmine Rice (or brown rice, we chose jasmine because it cooks faster)
  • Fajita Seasoning
  • Salt (we used pink himalayan salt, but you can use whatever)
  • Pepper
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Hot Sauce (optional- my fav option, I love spicy everything!)

 

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to the bag. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and some fajita seasoning.
  2. Preheat the oven. This is where the bell peppers will go.
  3. Dice up the onion and cook with the chicken in a non-stick pan. Shred the chicken with a fork once it’s cooked.
  4. Cut the top layer of the bell peppers (as if the peppers have a hat) and dispose of the insides. Put them into the oven for a few minutes to soften.
  5. Open the can of black beans, pinto beans, and corn. Mix the beans together and keep the corn separate. Put them through a strainer and rinse them through to reduce sodium
  6. When everything is done cooking, it will be time to stuff the peppers!
  7. Mix all of the ingredients together or layer it in the pepper, like we did.
    *As a disclaimer, go light on every ingredient when stuffing the peppers in layers or you will not have enough room for everything.* Bottom layer will start with rice, then add the pinto and black beans, then add the shredded chicken, add a few spinach leaves, then add some corn.
  8. If you’re going to add salsa and/or cheese, add it here. Cut up some fresh avocado and add that on top.
  9. Then you’re done! Feel free to add hot sauce as you’re eating or more fajita seasoning. Bon Appetit!

 

Friends who feast together, stay together.