Donut Grow Up – Gio’s 1st Birthday

 

Well, here we are. ONE year old!

As I write this, I remember at this time last year, I was in the hospital waiting for my contractions to start. I was admitted to the hospital on December 5, because my water broke at home, but Gio wasn’t born until 7:45 pm on December 6. You can read more about Gio’s birth story here.

I intentionally planned to celebrate Gio’s birthday early because we chose to have him dedicated at our church the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Both of our parents were planning to be in town, so I thought why not lump the celebrations together and do one, BIG joint celebration!

Donuts have always had a loving place in both my husband and I’s heart. After moving to the west coast, it became a silly obsession of ours to always get Dunkin Donuts when we traveled back east (they don’t have any where we live!). Especially when my sister and brother in law were living in Boston, there was practically a Dunkin Donuts every corner! Kendrick and I are able to buy the French vanilla coffee (our favorite) at our local grocery store, but as for donuts, we had to drive to Half Moon Bay (40+ minutes away) to satisfy our craving.

That is until we discovered an amazing donut shop within walking distance from our house (dangerous!) called Donut Delite. I feel like I’m cheating on DD by saying this, but their glaze donuts are seriously heavenly. (And better than DD in my humble opinion). SO, all that to say, when I came across the donut 1st birthday theme on Pinterest, I knew I had found a winner.

A lot of my inspiration came from a fellow blogger who executed the same birthday party theme for her son earlier this year. Unlike many other donut party pictures I saw, where there was a lot of pink, purple, inflatable donuts, and other brightly colored tableware and decor; the way Julie did it was simple, not overdone, age appropriate, with just the right pop of color. Take a look at her party here.

The donut printables and favor tags were available for FREE on Julie’s site. She had also linked to the donut balloons on Amazon, and other party decor she used.

I ended up making a lot of the decor myself, since I had the time and wanted to save money. I bought a 1 inch round paper punch, and punched out confetti for the tables, and also used it to punch holes in the paper donuts I made. I made Gio’s “ONE” banner for his highchair, and bought the white tassel banner at Target. I’ll link to all the decor throughout this post.

It was a lot of work pulling everything together, and I couldn’t have done it without my amazing family – my mother and sister in law have impeccable taste and stellar decorating skills, so they really helped pull my vision together. My mom and sister did a lot of the work behind the scenes with all the food prep and plating, and clean up after the event. It takes a village, right??

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We served fruit skewers with strawberries, pineapple, and donut holes on the ends. OF course I had to serve bagels too since they went with the “donut shaped” food theme. And the beloved glaze donuts.

DONUT GROW UP gold banner: Etsy

White donut balloons: Amazon 

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I also made homemade “donuts” that were egg-free since I have a friend with an egg allergy. Also, I knew not everyone likes donuts so I wanted there to be something for everyone.

I bought Pumpkin Bread mix from Trader Joe’s, and subbed flax seed for the egg, and baked them in my donut pan. I rolled them in cinnamon sugar after they cooled and they were the perfect treat! I also made banana bread “donuts” and just followed a banana bread recipe and baked them in the donut pan, and topped with powdered sugar.

Favors for the kids were:

“Donut Dough” (Play Doh) & “Donut seeds” aka fruity Cheerios.

IMG_0936“Donut Forget Me” tags

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Guest Book: “If You Give a Dog a Donut”. I had family and friends sign this book to have as a sweet momento.

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A friend let me borrow her IKEA highchair and Happy Birthday banner.

White tassel garland: Target 

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Baby entertainment area 😉

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This donut smash was the best idea ever! SO much easier (and cleaner) than a smash cake but just as fun!

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Gio’s Donut Smash

Gio at One Year:

  • I have 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom)
  • I weigh 24 lbs 1.6 oz; and I am 2 feet 8 inches tall.
  • My favorite foods are: avocado, eggs, strawberries, oranges, pasta with pesto, bagels and cream cheese; but I’ll pretty much eat anything that’s put in front of me.
  • My favorite book is: The Five Little Monkeys
  • I love swinging and playing at the playground; especially crawling through the tunnel and holding onto the big wheel
  • I love cats and dogs (especially my dog cousin Chico and my friend Michael’s cat Sammie)
  • I also love big stuffed animals, like Michael’s stuffed animal whale and penguin- I like to crawl on top of them and tackle them
  • I do this ‘happy dance’ with my hands and open my mouth wide when I’m excited about something
  • I love to hang out with mommy and play peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek with her
  • I also love to crawl on top of her and grab her hair and “wrestle”
  • I like pulling all my books off my bookshelf
  • I love anything that has buttons…especially my sound machine, the laz-e-boy recliner couch, my humidifier, and the remote control
  • I love being outside
  • I get really excited looking at fans
  • I laugh really hard when Mommy crawls on the ground
  • I laugh when I hear the sounds, “zoom”; “boom”; “boo”; “moo”; and the word “fire”
  • I like to laugh at mommy when she does push-ups, burpees, or the “cat-cow” yoga pose

 

Gio on car 2

I love my new ride-on Mercedes and can’t wait to take it for a spin 😉

Thanks Mommy and Daddy, I love you!

 

 

We love you too sweet GIO! HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY!

 

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Liebster Award + Revealing Facts

Hi friends,

Popping in to say thank you to my friend and fellow blogger Alli, of Finding Plan A, for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I haven’t been very consistent with my blog since Gio was born, so I feel honored to get this little shout out.

What’s the Liebster Award?

Originating in Germany in 2011, the Liebster Award 2017 is an online award that is given to bloggers by other bloggers. Liebster translates to sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. The Liebster Award recognizes new and upcoming bloggers that have the potential to grow and become successful influencers within the blogosphere.

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All nominees are asked to share ten facts about themselves, as well as the answers to a few interview questions; so I’m sharing the quirky, slightly embarrassing things that have never before been shared on the internet. Here goes.

10 Facts About Me:

  • I am a former competitive gymnast.
  • I had an obsession with dolphins in middle school and came home from camp one summer to find that my dad repainted my room to look like an ocean complete with sponge painting ( for the coral) and dolphin wall paper.
  • My first concert was *NSYNC in fifth grade.
  • My first CD I ever bought (correction: my parents bought) was Savage Garden.
  • I was homeschooled from Kindergarten to second grade.
  • My first bone I ever broke was my (left?) thumb but I didn’t realize it until it was all bruised and blue and purple. I was a gymnast at the time and they still made me do exercises with one hand.
  • My favorite singer is Michael Buble; I wrote in my high school yearbook that I would marry him.
  • My guilty pleasure is anything peanut butter and chocolate (random food fact: I used to eat dry cake mix out of the box in high school – SO weird I know, WHY??!)
  • My first “boyfriend” was a boy I met my first summer at sleep away camp; he lived in Virginia and we sent love letters (okay more like pen pal letters) to each other for the rest of the summer until school started and he forgot about me.
  • My fantasy is to spend Christmas in a small town in Vermont to live my own version of a Hallmark holiday movie…complete with a white Christmas 🙂

Short Interview

1. What is one place you haven’t been that is on the top of your bucket list?

Italy! I would love to start at the top of the country and travel down south and visit Naples and the surrounding towns, because that’s where my family is from. We named our son Giovanni, to honor our Italian heritage, so I would love for him to see the history behind his name.

2. What is the most daring experience you’ve ever had? (For example: sky diving)

In the summer of 2013, I visited Martha’s Vineyard because my brother in law’s family has a house there. We rode in a boat out to this bridge called the “Jaws bridge”, appropriately named because it was the setting of the fictitious Amity Island in the 1975 movie JAWS. (Note: I have never seen JAWS).  Apparently jumping off the bridge is a “thing”, and since I’m not really afraid of heights it didn’t seem too scary to me.

Cut to me climbing up the bridge rail, 20 feet above the water and staring down at all the huge jellyfish floating below. JELLYFISH!!?? No one mentioned THIS! Kendrick was also standing beside me and having a slight panic attack. He forgot to mention to me until this very moment that he was afraid of heights. We debated climbing off and going back to the boat. But, we couldn’t back away now. So, we decided to strategically time our jumps in between the waves of jellyfish. As soon as I hit the water, I jumped on Kendrick’s back and yelled, “Hurry up, swim to the boat!” But he said he couldn’t swim too fast because we would catch up to the jellyfish in front of us.  We ended up making it back to the boat without getting stung, but I didn’t swim in the water again the rest of the trip.

3. What is your biggest accomplishment?

Becoming a mom 🙂

4. What’s your biggest fear?

Spiders and snakes – and being trapped in a small space.

5. What’s a hidden talent you have?

I can walk on my hands. (thanks gymnastics!)

6. What’s an activity, craft, or sport that you want to learn how to do?

In high school I wanted to learn how to play guitar, and actually did try to learn, but I have concluded that I don’t have long enough fingers. I secretly always wanted to learn how to act, but the idea equally terrifies me.

My nominees:

Hanna of The Healthiest Me 

Katie of Love and Baby Steps 

Kendrick of Refocused Mind 

Emi of The Well-Traveled Wife

Hilary of hilary style

TASK FOR NOMINEES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog in your post.
  • Upload the award to your blog. It can be done as a blog or on the sidebar.
  • Answer the questions above.
  • Nominate five blogs who you believe deserve to receive the award.
  • Notify the nominated bloggers so that they can accept the award.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Favorite (motherhood) books + podcasts right now

Hi friends!

It is 7:22 am on a Tuesday morning, and Gio is taking his first nap; he was up at 4:30 am.

So, since I’m already one pumpkin muffin + 1 cup of pumpkin spice coffee in, I figured I’d do some writing 🙂

I’ve been wanting to share some of my favorite books and podcasts lately, because they have been so encouraging to me, especially in this season of motherhood. What I particularly love about reading books by other moms or listening to podcasts hosted by moms, is that often times I find myself saying, “ME TOO!”.  That is what I love about this new community I am in, we just GET each other. All other societal divides are put aside when you meet another mom. You have a connection and bond that no other person can understand. No matter what stage of motherhood you’re in, all moms have been through whatever it is you are going through, and that to me is SO comforting.

Since becoming a mother, I have noticed that I don’t judge people as much as before. I heard someone say, (I believe it was Ashlee Gadd on the Coffee + Crumbs podcast) that “we do way less judging as a mom, because we don’t want to be judged for being a bad mom.” 

SO true.

That mom who lets her child eat food off the floor? …FINE.

 

That mom with the crying baby in the checkout line at Target…I’VE BEEN THERE.

PSA: THIS IS A JUDGMENT FREE ZONE MAMAS.

We all have to make decisions that are best for our family, for our child, for ourselves…so, how we choose to parent may look a little different. But, no matter what, we should extend the same love and grace that we would want to be given; because at the end of the day…we fed, clothed, changed, played, bathed, and kept another human being alive; and that deserves some praise!

Podcasts 

Coffee + Crumbs– I learned about this podcast from another mom who posted a link to the show on Facebook. After listening to the first episode, I realized that all 3 moms who host the show all live in California! I felt even more of a kindred to these mamas who were living and raising kids on the west coast.

The Goal Digger Podcast– This is not particularly motherhood related, but I’ve been following Jenna for a while now, (since before I was pregnant), and she is such an inspiration. From starting her own photography business, to educating others on how to start a business, to launching her own podcast for creative girl bosses; she is such an authentic, hardworking gal. She has also been very open about her personal life and struggles, including two miscarriages in the past year. Right before I found out I was pregnant with Gio, she shared that she had a miscarriage. Although I’ve never met her, I grieved alongside her as she shared her walk down this road. I’ve been continuing to follow her journey and no matter what you are going through in your life, she is an encouragement for all of us.

My favorite episode recently is: #74 “How to Stay Creative and Tackle Your Next Project” with author Emily Freeman. I resonated with so much of what Emily said and it was actually from listening to this episode that I felt encouraged to start blogging again. (I had been on a little hiatus since April).

Books

Of Mess and Moxie – by the hilariously funny Jen Hatmaker. I literally laugh out loud when I read her books. Now that I am a mom, I can relate to her so much more. She is just honest and real y’all (she lives in Texas, which is rather fitting for her big personality). I also recommend reading, “For the Love“.

*Check out Jen’s interview on the C+C podcast !

The Magic of Motherhood

A collection of short stories complied by the women of the Coffee + Crumbs podcast. An easy, encouraging read. I started crying 2 pages in. Lots of good reminders — I did a lot of highlighting!

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Above all else, your body will become a home for your children- your lap will become a place of security, your chest  a place of warmth, your arms a place of assurance. Every inch of you will be used to care for these children, and though its completely and utterly exhausting on most days, the super hero stamina is still a miracle worth noticing.”

“You are always a mother. You are not only a mother.”

“It turns out, one of the most wonderful joys of motherhood is the other mothers.”

“Other moms have messy feelings too, and it doesn’t make us monsters. It makes us human. It makes us weak. And acknowledging that makes us strong.”

 

 

AMEN TO THAT.

 

 

 

 

Giovanni: 10 Months

Hi friends,

Wow my little baby is 10 months! My last monthly update was when he was 4 months…and I don’t nearly have the time to catch you up on everything since then; but, I would like to share what’s been happening recently.

Gio learned to crawl! It started out as a scoot/belly crawl at the beginning of September, and moved in to a full on crawl on all fours. Now it seems like he can get across our little apartment in under a minute (CUE: SHOCK FACE). Heaven help me when the boy starts walking…thank goodness we live in California where the weather is pretty much perfect everyday; I have a feeling we’ll be spending a lot of time outside!

Gio also learned to pull up this month. It just happened in the past week actually, and all he wants to do is grab things at a height and pull them down, especially the remote control. If he eyes that thing, he is SO determined to get it that he’ll risk being thrown off balance; resulting in some bumps to the head.

We had to put up a baby gate/superyard, and the same day I was going to order one from Amazon, a mom in one of my Facebook groups posted one for FREE. ((I had no idea that baby gates can cost over $100!!)) Not really a fun purchase to make, so I was stoked I could get it second hand.

Some of the highlights this month also included a trip to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles mid-september. The last time we were in Southern California was in April (right after Gio turned 4 months), so I was excited to go back and make new memories in our favorite place … more on that in another post. 😉

Although some things have gotten easier when traveling, like not having to stop as much to breastfeed or change his diaper, it has also gotten harder because he’s now growing and moving and doesn’t like to sit STILL! He really doesn’t like his car seat and 50% of the time will make a fuss when I put him in it. We lucked out on the drive down and I was able to sit up front with Kendrick while Gio napped a bit and entertained himself for the most part. We also broke out “The Wiggles” Nursery Rhymes video on YouTube when we needed to…on vacation anything goes!

Another fun part of Gio growing up is having him join us at the table when we go out to eat. He looks so cute and grown up sitting there in the high chair. Let me tell you, the kid LOVES to eat. Like father, like son. He pretty much will eat anything I give him; correction, he WILL eat anything I give him. We ordered him a side of broccoli when we went to lunch in Santa Barbara, and he gobbled it up. He also had his first taste of pao de queijo (gluten free Brazilian cheese bread). If you’ve been a loyal follower, one of my very first posts I shared with you that I made Kendrick a homemade Brazilian dinner – complete with pao de queijo! Read more here) .

I want to write a separate post on our trip to Santa Barbara, but in case I forget, I HAVE to share with you our most favorite restaurant we discovered. It’s called the Brasil Arts Cafe, and of course, the menu offers a variety of authentic, Brazilian food AND smoothies, acai bowls, salads, and some typical American fare. We loved it so much we ended up going THREE times while we were there.

Anyway, this past month has been so much fun and each week with Gio is a blessing that I never take for granted.

Some other highlights:

  • He transitioned from 3 naps, to 2 naps. On a good day, he’ll take an hour and 15 minute nap in the morning, and an hour and a half nap in the afternoon. (HALLELUJAH!)
  • He loves to play peek-a-boo with me and always laughs when I hide and ask him, “where’s Mommy??” and then pop out and exclaim, “There she IS!” …haha gets him every time 🙂
  • He started saying, “dada” and it’s his only recognizable word…although he doesn’t say it exclusively to Kendrick, so he has no concept of the meaning yet
  • He signed “milk” for the first time while we were on vacation. Every evening I give him a bath before bed, put on his pajamas and sleep sack, and then breastfeed him before bed. As I was putting on his sleep sack he signed “milk” because that’s always what he gets before bed. (YAY GIO!)
  • He laughs at the words “BOO” and “MOO”. A sure way to get him to laugh is when I demonstrate the “cat/cow” move like you do in yoga. He ALWAYS laughs when I add the sound effects while doing this.
  • He has always loved swinging at the park and is now able to play on the rest of the play structures…like crawling through the tunnel! We try to walk to the park/playground down the street every evening if we can. I like to get him tired out before bed 😉

 

Oh Gio, I love you so much!!

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That smile can brighten any day!

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This is a picture of my husband Kendrick around Gio’s age…what a resemblance!!

Out to eat in Santa Barbara…eating pao de queijo and broccoli

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We stopped in a toy stop while in SB…and let Gio test drive this car 😉 maybe he’ll get it for his 1st birthday…

Gio’s first trip to the zoo!

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Daddy’s mini me ❤

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Pumpkin Applesauce Streusel Bread

Hello friends!

It’s been 5+ months since my last blog post, so you probably thought that I disappeared on you…forever to be lost in the the thick of mom life; changing diapers, cleaning up messes, folding laundry, and chasing around my (now) crawling baby! That list is actually rather short, and doesn’t nearly encompass all that I do during the day. I’ve had to give myself a lot of grace lately, and pat myself on the back because I’m doing THIS…I’m doing this mom thing by myself. I don’t have my mom or mother-in-law remotely close by to help, which is a huge game changer. So, when I make it anywhere on time (“on time” to me now means within 1 hour of the start…) I feel accomplished that I was able to get myself dressed, fed, and hair brushed while simultaneously caring for a (almost) 10 month old.

Did I lose you yet??

Don’t worry I’ll save my mom rants for another day 😉

Now onto this delicious Fall bread, which is totally baby friendly…minus the streusel topping.  Now that Gio is eating real food, I’m always looking at the ingredients in recipes to make sure they’re OK for him. I’ve been doing a combination of purees and baby led weaning since Gio was 7 months, but he doesn’t like when I feed him anymore so he mostly eats finger foods now.

If you’re a mom or not, you may know that babies are not allowed to have honey under 1 year old. I also have been substituting egg in baked recipes because

  1. Gio has some friends who have an egg allergy
  2. Kendrick and I have been trying to consume less animal products

I’ve made the bread both with, and without the eggs and I actually prefer it without the eggs (surprising!). The eggs make it more spongy.

You can make this recipe as a bread, or make muffins for your little one with or without the topping. The topping is perfectly safe for them, I just don’t like to give Gio added sugar.

The bread alone is vegan, dairy free, oil free, soy free, and is naturally sweetened.

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((Baby-Friendly)) Pumpkin Applesauce Streusel Bread

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BREAD:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed + 6 tablespoons of water (**1 egg= 1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STREUSEL:

  • 1/4 cup oats 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×5 bread pan with cooking spray (I like to use coconut oil spray).
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients saving the flour for last.
  4. Pour into bread pan.
  5. Make the streusel topping in the same bowl.
  6. Sprinkle evenly over top of bread.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes at 350, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out cleanly.
  8. **If making muffins, bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork comes out cleanly.

ENJOY!

Giovanni: 4 Months

This past month with Giovanni has been my favorite so far! Each month he grows, I love him more and more. Weighing in at 16 lbs, 14.7 oz; his days as a newborn seem long behind us! He’s already in 6 and 9 month clothing, and size 4 diapers!

He started sleeping in his crib this past month, retired the Rock-n-Play, and graduated to the jumperoo…which he LOVES! He likes to bear weight on his feet when we hold him, so I knew he would be thrilled to exercise a little independence and jump on his own..I’ve already taken so many videos of him in it! He’s so darn cute 😉

He has his own little personality now and this may sound weird but I forget sometimes that he can’t talk (haha)…he expresses his love for me in so many other ways that just melt my heart. Like when I wake him up in the morning, and as soon as I pop my head over his crib his face lights up. Or when he’s sleepy and I scoop him up in my arms and he nuzzles on my chest.

He took his first vacation this past month, and this weekend we’ll be heading down to Southern California for spring break.

Yesterday marked one year since finding out I was pregnant (read how we found out here), and looking back now I smile because though we were SO happy in that moment, we had yet to find out how much more joy Gio would bring to our lives. And as each month passes, I know that there is something even better that lies ahead.

Here’s what happened this month:

  • Gio discovered his hands…and now they are in his mouth ALL.THE.TIME.
  • He has become much more expressive and talkative…I know he’s happy as a clam when he just sits and babbles to himself.
  • Sleeps 8-10 hours at night
  • Likes to look at himself in the mirror- when I hold him in front of it and smile, he’ll smile back 🙂
  • Has such strong neck and leg muscles …he always wants to stand on our laps.
  • He is now able to grip things..and just started holding onto his rattles and toys.
  • Hasn’t rolled over yet, but he’ll roll on his side so I think he’s almost there!
  • Is stretching out- he’s now 2 feet, 3 inches long (99% percentile), definitely gets his height from dad!
  • Is becoming more of a Momma’s boy which I secretly love… 😉 if he meets someone new now, he’ll look away toward me.
  • Loves listening to his Portuguese children’s songs…since I’m home with him during the day and I speak English to him, I try to play more Brazilian music so he’s exposed to that.
  • Is looking more like mommy now..his eyes aren’t as almond shaped as they were at birth (which made him look a lot like Kendrick).

 

My how this little one has grown!

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Happy 4 Months Giovanni!

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Outtakes…

Quinoa & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Hello again, friends! I’m so grateful to Angela for having me here on Mrs. K-Fit for a second time. When she asked if I had a recipe I’d like to contribute, I knew immediately that I needed to share my Quinoa + Turkey Stuffed Peppers. This meal is always a big hit at our house. It’s one of my husband Matt’s favorites, and I always feel really good about cooking and eating it because it’s healthy, well-rounded, and not too difficult to make.

This version of the recipe is adapted from my favorite cookbook The Skinnytaste Cookbook. The original recipe doesn’t use turkey, but I like to add a leaner protein to meals whenever I can. One thing you’ll notice is absent below is the use of garlic and onion. I’ve been dealing with digestive issues for about five years now, and one of the biggest fixes for me has been removing those foods from my diet entirely (I would totally recommend it for anyone dealing with chronic stomach pain and bloating. Give it a try!). That being said, you can feel free to add 2 cloves of chopped garlic at step #2 of the filling instructions, if you’d like : )

Ingredients:
For the filling…
1/2 cup white quinoa
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For the peppers…
2 large bell peppers (red or yellow)
4 tbsp. canned crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

For the filling…

Make your quinoa, using vegetable broth instead of water to infuse extra flavor. Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan, add the vegetable broth, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (HINT: A rice cooker is another great — and easy — way to make quinoa! Simply throw the grains and the broth into the pot, turn it on, and you’re ready to go!)

 

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and ground turkey. Stir until the meat is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to develop the flavors.

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Remove the pan from the heat and put turkey and tomato mixture into a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa, Romano, spinach, basil, and mozzarella.

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For the peppers…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Halve the peppers lengthwise and remove the core, seeds, and stem. Place the peppers cut side up in a baking dish.
  3. Fill each pepper with the filling. You can stuff them to your taste — I like mine a little overfilled!

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4. Top each pepper with a little extra crushed tomato, Romano, and mozzarella.
5. Pour remaining broth into the bottom of the dish.

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6. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the peppers are soft, about 50 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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HINT: We usually end up with extra filling, which is one of my favorite parts of this recipe! I’ll mix a scoop of it with fresh spinach, which makes for a great lunch the next day. The stuffed peppers themselves make great leftovers, too… and they keep really well in the freezer for longer periods of time. Sometimes I’ll double the ingredients so I can make sure I have extra to put away. Don’t you just love getting multiple meals out of a single recipe?

Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to see you over on my blog Finding Plan A and on my Instagram! xo

 

by Alli Hoff Kosik