When winter takes hold, I think a lot of us find ourselves craving rich, warm comfort foods. As much as I'd like to sit down to piles of fatty meat and starches covered in gravy at every meal for the next three months, reality sets in and I know I've got to find simple foods that will warm me up without leaving me too bloated and unmotivated to take my ass to gym. So what can you do to get in a healthy meal that scratches your comfort food itch and also fits into your busy schedule (which includes hitting the gym, right)? Choosing a one pot meal is a great start. They take just a few ingredients and don't involve any fancy cooking techniques or endless cleanup. As an added bonus, you can make huge quantities and divide it into single-serving containers to enjoy lunches or dinners for the rest of the week. One of my favorite one-pot winter meals is Stuffed Pepper Soup.
Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to make a main course and several sides to meet all of your nutritional requirements? Lucky for you, this recipe hits very close to the classic bodybuilding nutrient ratios of about 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs. You can, of course, make some adjustments to switch the numbers around to meet your specific goals. (And for more nutrition tips see my Nutrition Cheat Sheet Post).
Serving Size – 2 Cups (this is the real world, none of that 1/2-cup serving nonsense!)
Made with 85% Lean Beef 93% Lean Beef
Calories – 445 418
Fat – 27 g 16 g
Carbs – 34 g 34 g
Fiber – 4 g 4 g
Sugar – 14 g 14 g
Protein – 32 g 35 g
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 each yellow, red, and orange pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 28-oz jar pasta sauce
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup uncooked rice
- 4 cups (1 quart) beef broth or 4 cups water and 4 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 tsp each salt and black pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning (or 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and oregano)
Recipe yields approximately 12 cups of soup (6 servings).
Preparing Stuffed Pepper Soup
(Total Time: Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 35 minutes)
1. In a large stock pot, cook beef in olive oil over medium heat until browned. Season meat with a little salt, pepper, and onion powder while cooking. No need to the drain fat.
2. Add diced peppers and onion to browned meat. Then add diced tomatoes and pasta sauce. Stir.
3. Add beef broth (or water and bouillon cubes), spices, and rice. Stir to combine.
4. Bring to a boil (stirring occasionally) and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 18 minutes uncovered on low, stirring occasionally, until rice is cooked and soup is thickened.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and Modifications
For low carb diets, you can nix the rice and add more chopped peppers. Just note that the soup won't be as thick.
For low fat diets, you can use beef or ground turkey ranging 93 – 99%, or drain the fat before adding veggies.
If it's crazy protein you're after, simply eat another bowl.
Parmesan is a fantastic topping (not included in the nutrient breakdown).
Like a fine Scotch Whiskey, stuffed pepper soup gets better with age (to a point, of course). You could eat this daily for a week and everyday will be better than the last.