Typical diet food has a reputation for looking boring. Personally, I prefer to avoid food that either looks or tastes boring. The adage that we first eat with our eyes influences my approach to all meals and snacks. If my lunch is a Lean Cuisine I almost always transfer it to a plate and add a side salad and some fruit. A simple frozen meal makeover that can transform lunch to LUNCH!
Frozen veggies added to leftover sticky rice and finished with a dash of hot sauce
When I worked in an office, I ate a frozen lunch from a plate most weekdays. Now that I am home, my most frequent lunch is reheated leftovers. Simply nuking something yummy satisfies me most days. There are other days that I feel like jazzing things up a little more.
Leftover taco filling gets a makeover as a stuffed bell pepper
To make this stuffed bell pepper I grabbed some seasoned ground turkey and black beans leftover from a recent taco night. I layered them in a hollowed-out bell pepper and popped it into the microwave. The pepper cooked on high for a couple of minutes until it started to soften and I felt confident that the beans and turkey were heated through. Once everything was nice and warmed, I topped the pepper with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and placed it in my toaster oven under the broiler until the cheese was melted. If using a broiler sounds like an overly complicated step, just pop the pepper back in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I wanted to make my bell pepper extra pretty to tempt your taste buds – hopefully it worked!
Whipping up this quick stuffed pepper gave my leftovers a brand new appeal. There were less than ten minutes between opening the fridge to sitting down at the table. The pepper created a fun way to add some extra vegetables to my lunch, and the finished dish was much greater than the sum of its parts.
Creating a special meal from simple ingredients is my insurance against getting into a rut of boring food – diet or otherwise.