A few weeks ago I was prepping for a (totally normal, totally planned) shoulder surgery (which went totally well, thank-you-for-not-asking), I needed something to distract myself from the fact that I would be undergoing a surgery that will result in the doctor sending me home with a DVD of my experience. A “highlight reel,” if you will – the surgeon certainly did, since he asked two weeks into recovery if I’d watched my DVD yet. I’ll share with you what I shared with him: That until I could lift a fat glass of wine to my face with my previously injured arm, there would be no such DVD watching.
During that mind-blocking keto time, I created some really cool recipes that happen to be gluten free (since gluten can be very carb-y). Overall I wouldn’t recommend keto to most people, and to no one as a long term solution, but it was amazing to think of foods I’d previously thought of as unhealthy as the “good” food, and vice versa with those I’d thought were “good.” So it’s a great distraction and way to reconsider what you put into your everyday diet.
I was also shocked that I was literally never hungry on keto; by logging the amount of fat/carbs/protein in my daily intake into an app I googled I realized I’d been way too low on protein and way too big on snacking. Lessons learned: watch your potato intake - a struggle as an Irish person - deciding to save room for sides by not eating as much chicken/steak/salmon at a meal will backfire and leave you hungry, and always treat yourself to whole milk instead of cream with your coffee (milk was what I missed most! Unexpected).
Alright! Now onto the first recipe from my keto days. This cheesesteak stuffed pepper made being keto feel luxurious. I was able to enjoy the best of a sub - sorry sub roll - and go back for a second cheesy, semi-greasy (in the best Philly way possible) serving. This was minimal work with high reward - I took another pepper into work for lunch the next day, and by the time I microwaved it in a Rubbermaid container and transferred to a plate, everyone else around me was drooling at the smell.
One note: I decided I prefer red or yellow peppers as the “container” since I used green peppers in the traditional mix, but do whatever makes you happy! We all know you will anyway. 😉
Serves: 4 individuals, or 2 for a dinner and lunch
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 Red Bell Peppers, tops removed and de-seeded (is that a word?)
- 1 Green Pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced (YouTube worked in my favor figuring this shit out, so I’ll let you work with the pros and not embarrass myself by trying to explain how they taught me)
- 1 pound flank steak/ground beef - in the vein of a traditional Philly cheesesteak, I bought flank steak and cut it myself. As you know though, I do whatever I want after reading a recipe and hope you have the confidence to do that too. So buy the pre-shaved steak, go ground beef, just don’t fuck this up with ground chicken or turkey, okay? Please. I froze some that I shaved in individual plastic bags for stir fries and dinners later - genius!)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Worchershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 6-8 slices Provolone cheese
- Fat glass of wine, for consumption while cooking obviously
- Preheat oven to 400° and line baking pan with tin foil; because we all hate cleanup, right? Again: psychopath test.
- Heat up a skillet with butter on a medium-hot stove, adding onions and cooking for 15 minutes until translucent. Add peppers about 8 minutes in until they’re cooked down, stirring occasionally.
- Remove peppers and onions and with remaining fat in pan (or the 1 tbsp olive oil), add steak. Top with Worcestershire, garlic powder and s&p to taste, and cook through (watch out to not over cook since this puppy will hop into the oven next!). Some people use paprika too, but do you.
- Start to layer red bell peppers (still uncooked - an unpopular opinion, but I find they are well cooked during the next phase) with a half a slice of Prov, meat mixture, green pepper and onion mixture, a half slice of Prov, another layer of meat and peppers and onions, and final full slice of Prov. You can use less, sure - but are you really human then?
- Bake for 30 minutes, enjoying a bit of bubbly cheese on top of each pepper at the end or expiditing the process by turning on your broiler - with the oven partially open! Well worth repeating 🔥
- Cut in half to let the steam out and add ketchup or hate yourself and enjoy plain - it’s your life!
Also reheats well after about 2 minutes in the micro - just beware of a little grease coming out of the bottom of your container. That’s why I switched to a plate after reheating for lunch.
PS - Sorry for the title, I genuinely could only think of that Lonely Island song when I realized what an amazing sub substitute this pepper was.