A recent study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that people who take on small, creative projects such as baking or cooking feel happier and more relaxed. In fact, time in the kitchen can be so good for your emotional wellbeing that some therapists recommend that patients suffering from depression or anxiety—as well as eating disorders, ADHD, and addiction—use cooking classes as a form of therapy.
My kitchen is a place of solace whether I am preparing a tried-and-true family recipe or creating a new one of my own. The simple act of chopping an onion, stirring a soup, or whisking a favorite salad dressing can help keep my mind off things I don’t need to focus on. Cooking is also a way to express emotions. What better way to show someone you care than by nourishing them with food?
As a holistic nutritionist, I understand the importance of balanced nutrition. Marrying the science of nutrition with the art of cooking is just like meditating, but with a more gratifying outcome for the taste buds. I am also a big proponent of applying the Keep it Super Simple (K.I.S.S.) principle to my culinary creations, which is why I came up with this simple but satisfying recipe. With only four main ingredients, you can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes.
STEAK-STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
1/2 small yellow onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
150 grams cooked steak or roast beef (I used leftover tri-tip roast beef)
3–4 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
• Thinly slice the onion.
• Heat butter and 2 tablespoons avocado oil in skillet over medium heat.
• Add the onions, stirring occasionally until they become translucent. Reduce the heat to low.
• Continue to cook the onions until brown (semi-caramelized).
• Meanwhile, slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds and membrane.
• Place peppers in microwave-safe bowl with 2–3 tablespoons of water.
• Microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes or until slightly soft to the touch.
• Turn the oven to broil.
• Slice roast beef or steak very thin, and add to onions. Add more oil if needed.
• Remove peppers from microwave and place in oven-proof baking dish. If the peppers are not sitting level in pan, roll up a piece of aluminum foil to prop up as needed.
• Add meat and onions to the peppers.
• Top with cheese.
• Broil until cheese is melted, a little brown and bubbly.
• Plate and serve with a simple green salad.
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