4 large sweet red peppers
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded pepper Jack cheese (or plain Jack cheese if desired)
¾ cup salsa
1 small onion, chopped (or ¼ cup dried minced onion)
½ cup frozen corn
1/3 cup uncooked converted long grain rice
½ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Reduced fat sour cream, optional
Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a large bowl, combine beans, cheese, salsa, onion, corn, rice, chili powder and cumin; spoon into peppers. Place in a 5-quart slow cooker, coated with cooking spray.
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Serve with sour cream if desired.
Nutritional information: 1 stuffed pepper, without sour cream, equals 317 calories, 10 grams fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 565 mg sodium, 43 mg carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, 15 grams protein.
—Adapted from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine, January 2010
Italian Vegetable Bean Soup
2 cups sliced celery
2 cups sliced carrots (about half of a one-pound bag of baby carrots)
3 cups diced ham
1 can pinto or red beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups frozen diced hash browns O'Brien
1 can chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tablespoon onion flakes or powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
2 14-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
Cook on low 8 hours or until beans and other vegetables are tender. Stir seasonings and tomatoes. Cook an additional 15 minutes. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.
Options: You can substitute 1/2 cup dried beans for canned. Soak overnight, drain the water, add fresh water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse before adding to the slow cooker.
— Valerie Phillips
SLOW-COOK TURKEY CHOWDER
4 slices smoked bacon (or ½ cup jarred real bacon pieces)
1 pound turkey breast cutlets, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
1-2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cans low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, cool; then chop.
In a slow cooker, place bacon, turkey, potato, carrots, onion, celery, soup, broth, thyme and sage. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low until the soup is thick and the turkey and vegetables are tender, about 8 hours.
Taste; add salt and pepper as needed. Serves 6.
Nutritional information per 11/2-cup serving: 236 calories, 5 grams fat, 57 mg cholesterol, 956 mg sodium, 23 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 23 grams protein, 49 mg calcium. Weight Watcher points value: 5.
— Adapted from "Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook," (Wiley, $29.95)