Mini bell pepper nachos is one of my favorite recipes! They are so easy to make, low carb, gluten free, and a great way to get your nacho fix with minimal calories! All the amazing flavors of nachos, but without the carbs from tortilla chips! 


This recipe is made with seasoned taco meat, plenty of cheese, and topped with a little bit of sour cream. I used my own taco seasoning blend, but you can use store bought taco seasoning mix if you prefer. 

Feel free to switch out the sour cream to your Condiment of choice such as 1 tbsp salsa or an ounce of jarred jalapenos which are also 1 Condiment each! I added a garnish of green onions and lettuce to finish it off, but it is totally optional! 

Make the swap to these delicious, healthier nachos and stay on plan! Trust me! You won't miss the chips! Enjoy!


Mini Bell Pepper Nachos

Ingredients:
9 Mini sweet bell peppers  ~ 255 grams ~ weigh for accuracy (3 Greens)
3 ounces Taco Seasoned Beef ~ recipe below (1/2 Leaner and 1.5 Condiments)
1/2 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (1/2 Lean)
1 tbsp sour cream (1 Condiment)
1 tbsp guacamole (1/2 Healthy Fat)
Optional Garnish: 
small bit of shredded lettuce and sliced green onions

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the ends off the mini bell peppers and then cut lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs. Place peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange the peppers in a single layer, cut side up. Bake for 5 min.

Top peppers with cooked ground beef and cheese. Bake for 7 to 8 min or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream.

1 Servings with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 2 1/2 Condiments, and 1/2 Healthy Fat

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Taco Seasoned Beef

Ingredients:
1 lb 95 to 97% lean ground beef (2 Leaner)

Taco Seasoning Blend (or 1 tbsp store bought Taco Seasoning):
1 tsp chili powder (2 Condiments)
1 tsp cumin (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp black pepper (1 Condiment)

Directions:
In a large skillet over medium heat, add meat and seasonings. Cook and break up meat until cooked thoroughly about 6 to 7 min. Drain meat of any excess fat.

2 Servings with
1 Leaner (6 ounces cooked) with 3 Condiments per serving


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

These ricotta bacon stuffed mini peppers make a colorful delicious appetizer to serve at your next gathering! Perfect for serving during a football game or at your next get together! 


The savory taste of turkey bacon paired with creamy ricotta, fresh herbs and a variety of cheese pairs so well with the sweetness of mini bell peppers. They are surprisingly filling and a serving size is a generous amount of food! That is why I gave the counts for 2 Servings as well as 4 Servings.


Besides some prep work, the recipe comes together pretty easily. First, you need to slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. I removed the tops, but it isn't necessary. 

You can also cut the tops off, remove the seeds and membrane, and then stuff the peppers whole with the filling. If you decide to do it this way, set the filled peppers in muffin tins standing upright so the filling doesn't spill out.


Next, make the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Then portion out the filling on the prepared peppers.


Bake the peppers for about 20 min or until ricotta is set.


That's all there is to it! Stuff, bake, and serve these creamy, tasty, bites to your guests or save them all for yourself! Enjoy!


Ricotta and Bacon Stuffed Mini Peppers

Ingredients:
1 pound assorted mini peppers, about 18 mini peppers* (6 Greens)
2/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese (2/3 Lean)
1/3 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/3 Lean)
4 slices turkey bacon
1 egg, beaten (with turkey bacon ~ 1 Lean)
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (4 Condiments)
2 tbsp fresh basil chopped (1/4 Condiment)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt ~optional (1 Condiment)
1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook turkey bacon and chop into very small pieces. Set aside. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and ribs. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella cheese, turkey bacon, egg, parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Fill peppers with the cheese mixture. Bake for 18 to 20 min or until ricotta is set and cheese is melted.

2 Servings with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments per serving (about 18 pepper halves)
or
4 Servings with
1/2 Lean, 1 1/2 Greens, and 1.5 Condiments per serving (about 9 pepper halves)

*I used 18 whole mini peppers/36 pepper halves (510 grams total). The amount of peppers per serving will vary depending on weight.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

I am a big fan of cheesesteak sandwiches so I was excited to try this recipe from Optavia! It did not disappoint! It was so delicious! Sauteed onions, minced garlic, beef and mushrooms stuffed perfectly in a pepper? Then topped with provolone cheese? Yes please! It has all the flavors of the iconic sandwich, but without all the carbs!


Lots of meaty flavor, easy to make, and a huge family favorite! Plus it is a great way to sneak in those extra veggies with the kiddos!  


Because this recipe uses a few common ingredients, meal prepping is a cinch! Take four peppers of any color and slice those suckers in half lengthwise. Then remove all the seeds and ribs. Set aside until ready to stuff with the creamy meat mixture.


Low sodium beef broth is used instead of oil or butter to saute the onions and garlic. This is a wonderful way to give those onions and garlic extra flavor without added fat. The broth is mostly absorbed or evaporated within the 5 min cooking time. Notice I did not mention mushrooms. This is because we are not fans of mushrooms in my household so I omitted them. If you skip the mushrooms, you will need to add one more Green per serving.


After the onions are translucent, add the beef and cook until heated thoroughly. Remove skillet from the heat and add cream cheese. The cream cheese adds additional flavor and makes it slightly creamy. Yes!!!


Stuff the pepper halves with the creamy beef mixture.


Then top each pepper half with 1/2 an ounce of provolone cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 min until the cheese gets melty and gooey! Pure heaven!


Check out the Optavia Pinterest Page if you haven't already! They have lots of yummy healthy recipes approved for our program! I hope you enjoy these stuffed peppers as much as me!


Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
4 medium green bell peppers
1/3 cup diced yellow onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup low sodium beef broth
6 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 lb thinly shaved, deli roast beef or thinly sliced steak
4 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
4 oz reduced fat provolone cheese, sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds, and set aside.
In a large skillet, saute, the onions and garlic in broth over medium-high heat for about 5 min, or until onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms, and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender.
Mix in the roast beef and heat through, about 3 to 5 min. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in cream cheese.
Fill each pepper with an eighth of the roast beef mixture, then top each half with a 1/2 ounce of cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 min until peppers are tender and cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

4 Servings (2 Bell Pepper Halves) with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments per serving

Link to original recipe on Pinterest.


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


I love lasagna, but not all the calories and carbs that come with it! This recipe has all the goodness of lasagna, but lightened up for a skinnier version! 


Cali'flour Foods pre-made cauliflower crusts are used in place of traditional lasagna noodles making this a low-carb, gluten-free, healthier for you recipe! The Lite Cali'flour Foods crusts are only 180 Calories, 6 g of Carbs, and 9 g of Fat for the ENTIRE crust!!! It also has 15 g of Protein! That is one heck of a crust! They are made with only a few ingredients which include fresh cauliflower, egg whites, mozzarella, and spices. That's it! No added funky stuff which is why I love them! The Lite crusts count as 1/2 a Lean and 3 Greens on the Optavia or Medifast program! Use them for pizza crusts, quiche, wraps, taco shells... the possibilities are endless! Use Code "SANDY" to save 10% off your order! 


Start off by spraying a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Saute the onions in the skillet until tender, about 5 min. Many people think you need oil to saute them over the stove, but it really isn't necessary as long as you use a non-stick pan. Add the uncooked meat to the cooked onions.


When making the meat sauce for the lasagna, you can use Jennie-O Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage or 95 to 97% lean ground beef or turkey. I used Jennie-O Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage because I love how it already has the Italian flavors mixed in, but it does have a strong fennel taste. If you do not like fennel, use ground beef or turkey. If you use Jennie-O, skip the salt.

Add an approved marinara sauce and Italian diced tomatoes to the meat mixture and let it simmer for about 5 min. Set aside. For years I have always added a can of diced tomatoes to my marinara sauce because I love the bursts of yummy tomato flavor from the chunks of tomatoes! Make sure you get diced tomatoes that are less than 5 g of Carbs per 1/2 cup! Some brands are 10 g of Carbs per 1/2 cup! For some reason, I have the most luck with generic store brands such as Great Value or Kroger brand so check your labels!


Combine cottage cheese, egg beaters, and dried parsley in a small bowl. Why did I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese? Simply because I can have more per serving on my program. 12 ounces of 2% cottage cheese versus 8 ounces of part skim ricotta cheese are both 1 Lean. Pick your cheese, but in this recipe... more is better so cottage cheese wins for me!


Spinach adds more nutrients into this lasagna! At only 7 Calories a cup, it packs a healthy dose Vitamins A and C plus folate, iron and calcium. Pop a bowl of 2 cups of baby spinach in the microwave for 1 to 2 min with a microwave safe lid or plastic wrap, and you will have nice wilted cooked spinach.


Time for layering! Spoon 1/3 of the meat mixture on the bottom of a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Place a Cali'four Foods Lite Crust on top.


Then add 1/3 more of the meat mixture, half the cottage cheese mixture, half the spinach, half the basil, half the fresh parmesan cheese, and half the mozzarella cheese.


Then repeat the layers. Add the second Cali'flour Foods Lite Crust. Followed by the rest of the meat mixture, cottage cheese mixture, spinach, basil, and cheeses.


Bake for 40 min and let set for 10 min. Dig in! This makes 4 delicious servings so share with your family friends! They will thank you for it!


Cali'Lasagna

Ingredients:
2 Lite Cali'flour Foods Crusts (1 Lean, 6 Greens)

For Meat Mixture:
1/4 cup Onions, chopped (4 Condiments)
1/2 lb Jennie-O Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage or 95 to 97% Lean Ground Beef, uncooked (1 Leaner)
1/4 tsp Salt ~ omit if using chicken sausage (1 Condiments)
1/8 tsp Black Pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (1/2 Condiment)
3/4 cup Rao's Marinara Sauce* (3 Greens)
1/2 cup Great Value Italian Diced Tomatoes (1 Green)

For Cottage Cheese Mixture:
12 oz 2% Cottage Cheese (1 Leaner)
3 tbsp Egg Beaters (1 Condiment)
2 tsp Dried Parsley (2/3 Condiment)

Additional Toppings:
2 cups Fresh Baby Spinach (2 Greens)
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, chopped (1/2 Condiment)
1 cup Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese ~ 3 to 6 g fat per oz (1 Lean)
1/4 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese (4 Condiments)

Directions:
Prepare Meat Mixture: Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Saute onions in the skillet until tender, about 5 min. Add the Italian chicken sausage (casings removed) or ground beef, salt (omit if using chicken sausage), black pepper, and garlic powder. Continue cooking until meat is brown. Drain off excess fat. Stir in marinara sauce and Italian diced tomatoes. Heat on low for 5 min. Set aside.

Prepare Cottage Cheese Mixture: In a small bowl combine cottage cheese, egg beaters, and parsley. Set aside.

Prepare Spinach: Rinse spinach to clean spinach. While leaves are wet, place spinach in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or use a microwave safe lid. No need to add additional water. Steam in the microwave for 1 to 2 min or until fully wilted. Chop and set aside.

Assemble Lasagna: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 9 inch deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 meat mixture at the bottom of the pie dish followed by one crust. Top the crust with 1/3 more of meat mixture, half of the cottage cheese mixture, half the spinach, 2 tbsp of basil, 2 tbsp of fresh parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of  mozzarella cheese.

Top with the second crust. Spread 1/3 meat mixture, remaining cottage cheese mixture, remaining spinach, 2 tbsp of basil, 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella.

Bake for 40 to 45 min or until warmed through. Remove from oven and let stand 10 min. Enjoy!

4 Servings with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments per serving


* Here are some options for approved marinara sauces, but of course not limited to just these below. When choosing a sauce, it must have less than 5 g of Carbs per serving or 1/4 cup.  The lower the calories, the better:

Rao's Marinara Sauce
Hunt's Garlic and Herb Pasta Sauce
Trader Joes Traditional Pasta Sauce
Organico Bello Marinara Sauce

Prego No Sugar Added Marinara Sauce

Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


Here is a low-carb crustless pizza recipe you can make in your slow cooker! Super easy to make and a real crowd pleaser! Perfect for tailgating or any get together!


But there is a secret ingredient! Underneath all that cheese and pepperoni, there are hidden veggies!


Cauliflower! It has a neutral flavor so it is a great veggie to sneak in! If you don't want to use cauliflower, feel free to use any veggie combo you like such as assorted bell peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes. If you leave out the cauliflower, remember to add 1 more Green per serving to complete your Lean and Green meal! Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb uncooked 95 to 97% lean ground beef ~ 12 oz cooked (2 Leans)
1 tsp garlic powder (2 Condiments)
3/4 tsp salt (3 Condiments)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1 tsp dried oregano leaves (1 Condiment)
1 tsp dried basil leaves (1/2 Condiment)
2 cups roughly chopped fresh cauliflower (4 Greens)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (4 Condiments)
* 2 cups approved marinara sauce (8 Greens)
1 and 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese with
2 oz turkey pepperoni slices, divided (2 Leans)

Directions:
Over medium high heat, cook ground beef in a large skillet. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Drain grease. Remove from heat.

Add dried oregano, dried basil, cauliflower, parmesan cheese, marinara sauce and 1 oz of turkey pepperoni that has been cut into fourths to the ground beef until combined. Pour into a slow cooker that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours.
Top with mozzarella cheese and additional 1 ounce of turkey pepperoni. Cook for an additional 30 min on HIGH or until cheese has melted.

4 Servings with
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments per serving

* Here are some options for approved marinara sauces, but of course not limited to just these below. When choosing a sauce, it must have less than 5 g of Carbs per serving or 1/4 cup.  The lower the calories, the better. I used Prego No Sugar Added Marinara Sauce for this recipe:

Rao's Marinara Sauce
Hunt's Garlic and Herb Pasta Sauce
Trader Joes Traditional Pasta Sauce
Organico Bello Marinara Sauce
Prego No Sugar Added Marinara Sauce


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

I am a big sloppy joes fanatic! They are so yummy so I was extremely excited to find this recipe at Masonfit.com. With some slight modifications, it is approved for the Medifast or Optavia plan! Check out his site for some delicious healthy recipes! 


I love the sweet and tangy flavors in this recipe! The sweetness comes from Walden Farms pancake syrup which is a great replacement for honey or maple syrup while you are trying to watch your waistline. The tang is from the yellow mustard and apple cider vinegar. If you are a fan of Carolina mustard bbq sauce, you need to try this recipe. I admit, at first I was skeptical about the flavor combination, but it was delicious!


I started off browning the ground beef in a skillet. Then added the sauce and stirred until combined. Heated on low for 4 to 5 min or until heated thoroughly.


They are wonderful as lettuce wraps!


But not without adding cheese first! Cheese on everything! Or eat it straight from a bowl! Topped with cheese of course!


Sweet and Tangy Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:
8.75 oz 93% lean ground beef, cooked and drained of fat (1 and 3/4 Lean)
1/4 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (1/4 Lean)

For the Sauce:
3 tbsp reduced sugar ketchup (3 Condiments)
1 tbsp yellow mustard (1 Condiment)
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (1/8 Condiment)
1 tbsp Walden Farms pancake syrup (1/4 Condiment)
1/2 tsp chili powder (1 Condiment)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)

Directions:
Brown ground beef in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Drain fat and measure out 8.75 oz. Return to skillet. Save the rest for another use.

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour sauce over ground beef. Heat skillet over low heat. Stir until combined. Continue cooking for 4 to 5 min or until heated thoroughly stirring often.

Divide mixture in half and top each portion with 2 tbsp cheese.

2 Servings with
1 Lean and 3 Condiments per serving


Slightly adapted from Mason Woodruff

 Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

I am loving these quick and easy slow cooker meals! This Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken is so delicious! It uses only a few ingredients, but has a ton of flavor and is absolutely amazing! Eat this creamy chicken served with your favorite veggies, as chicken tacos, on top of cauliflower rice, or in salads! It is so versatile! Double the recipe and freeze the other half for later because it makes a great freezer meal!


I had this Green Chile Chicken two ways for the past two nights! The first night I had it with jicama shells (1 Green for 2 shells) that I picked up at Whole Foods Market in the produce section. The tortillas are made from raw jicama sliced thin. They are very mild tasting, and have a nice, crisp texture which make them a great alternative to traditional taco shells or tortillas. Plus they hold fillings perfectly!

The second night I had the chicken over cauliflower rice. Both ways were really yummy! I will definitely be adding this to my regular rotation! Enjoy the recipe! 


Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (4 Leaner)
2 (4 oz) cans chopped mild green chiles (2 Greens)
1 tsp garlic powder (2 Condiments)
1 tsp ground cumin (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp Feast Mode Mexican Fusion (2 Condiments) 
Or 1/2 tsp chili powder (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp salt (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp black pepper (1 Condiment)
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese (4 Healthy Fats)
1/4 cup regular or light sour cream (4 Condiments)

Directions:
Place the chicken in the slow cooker. Cover the chicken with green chiles, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 1/2 hours.

When done, use forks to shred the chicken and mix with the juices. Stir the cream cheese into chicken and continue cooking for 30 more min on LOW. Then stir in sour cream until combined. Serve immediately.

*Freeze this meal for later! Place the chicken, chilies, and spices in a freezer safe ziploc bag. Label and freeze up until 6 months.

Thaw bag in fridge. Empty the bag into the slow cooker. Cook on Low 4 to 5 hours. 30 min before serving, shred the chicken and add the cream cheese. Continue cooking for 30 more min. Stir in sour cream at the end. Enjoy!

4 Servings (about 1 cup) with
1 Leaner, 1/2 Green (still need 2 1/2 Greens more such as 1 1/4 cup cauliflower rice), 3 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat per serving



Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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