Leta Stevens

FOOD

Healthy Twist on Papa John’s Cheeseburger Pizza

For anyone that has known me for a while, you know that I am by NO MEANS a cheeseburger person. I am 110% a pizza person. Growing up, the times my Papa Bear (as I so lovingly call my father) would go to town on the grill (charcoal, of course, because he’s a man’s man and knows how to do it right) he would be flipping burgers AND some hot dogs, because he knew I would NOT eat a cheeseburger.

Do I like them? Sure. I just never crave them and never really opt for them by choice. If given the option of having a cheeseburger or a hot dog, I (sometimes) may respond “both!” but more times than not I’ll simply choose a hot dog (or four, kidding… kind of).

Ask me if I want a cheeseburger or a pizza, I will never hesitate to laugh in your face because pizza is the only answer to that question (at least if that question is directed at me).

However, Papa John’s had got me feeling some type of way last month with their Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza commercials (that always came on at 11pm when I would be in bed and my late night cravings were in full force).

I’m telling y’all… this Papa John’s commercial was haunting me. Maybe it was the fact that there were pickles on the pizza (I’m a pickle lover, too), but it just looked so damn delicious! I had to try and make my own prep-friendly (diet-friendly) version… sans bacon.

 

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Cheeseburger Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pita, Wheat
  • 1 lb. extra lean (97%), ground beef
  • Bacon (if you have the macros for it!)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Prego Light Smart Marinara Sauce
  • Vlasic Kosher Dill Relish
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used Go! Veggie Mexican shreds)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. With a bread knife, cut the pita bread in half (horizontally) so that you now have two “crusts.” Picture below. Place pizza crusts on pizza pan.
  3. In a skillet, add coconut oil and brown the ground beef. If you have the macros for the bacon, prepare this on the griddle using the directions on the packaging.
  4. Take .4 C of Light Smart Marinara (I used about .2 C for each crust) and spread evenly on crust, leaving the edges sauce-free.
  5. Once the ground beef is cooked, sprinkle ground beef pieces on top of your marinara sauce (I used 3 ounces, 1.5oz per pizza). If you have enough macros for the bacon, chop into little pieces and throw it on top!
  6. Time to add the dill relish! I’m a pickle-loving weirdo, so I kind of went overboard with my relish topping (8 tablespoons to be exact) so add as much relish as you’d like – assuming that you won’t want as much pickle-y taste as I was craving.
  7. Top your currently hamburger only pizza with cheese – I used .5 C total of the Go Veggie! shredded mozzarella, about 1 serving of cheese per pizza (28g per / 56g total).
  8. Place pizza pan in the oven and bake at 425 degrees until cheese is golden or melted (because I’m using Go Veggie cheese, it doesn’t really melt like real cheese, so I used the coloration as my guide). For me, it was about 11 minutes. I slightly overcooked mine in order for the pita “crust” to be really crispy.
  9. Cut like a normal pizza and enjoy!

 

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MACROS for BOTH pizzas: 38P | 54C | 12.5F

  •            If you added bacon to your pizza, don’t forget to account for those macros!
  •            This also accounts for 8 TBSP of dill relish, if you only use 4 TBSP you save 2g of carbs.

 

That’s right y’all for BOTH pizzas it’s LESS THAN 500 calories! If you’re a little carb-conscious you can save one of the pizzas for another meal and enjoy only one (maybe swap one pizza with a side salad). I had consciously carb-hoarded on this day to be able to fit this wonderful creation into my daily intake. While I’m sure the real Papa John’s Bacon Cheeseburger pizza is WAY better… this was a great (and easy!) option that helped me fulfill a HUGE craving I was having (almost daily thanks to those commercials!) without compromising my diet.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

 

Xo,

Leta

Stuffed Bell Peppers

As my bio says, I’m a self-proclaimed Betty Crocker… what does that mean? It means that I LOVE cooking and baking. It is so fun for me to experiment in the kitchen. I’m on a mission to make all of my favorite meals healthier without sacrificing taste! It isn’t often that I get to cook for anyone besides myself, so when I get the chance to show off my cooking skills… I make sure that I come to the table with a meal so tasty that my guests won’t even know that they’re eating healthy.

With that being said, I had a visitor come over for dinner and decided to cook stuffed bell peppers. Most stuffed bell pepper recipes call for green bell peppers, but the red ones are my favorite so I changed it up and was so happy with my creation that I wanted to share it with y’all!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

• 4 large red bell peppers

•1 lb. extra lean (99%), ground turkey

•1 tbsp. coconut oil

•1 small red onion, chopped

•1 packet Mrs. Dash salt-free Taco seasoning

•1/4 C water

•1 cup frozen southwestern style corn

•1 (12oz) jar of your favorite salsa (I used a chunky medium salsa)

• Shredded mexican cheese (I used Go! Veggie Mexican shreds)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Rinse peppers. Cut the tops off your bell peppers, remove the stems and and seeds. Set hollow bell peppers aside. If you’re tracking your macros, weigh out the hollowed bell peppers before. I found each of mine to weigh around 175-180 grams and sat the one that would fit my macros on a separate plate).

3. Sauté the onions first with the coconut oil, then add the turkey in a skillet and cook until just browned. Add the taco seasoning, a quarter cup of water, and frozen corn and continue cooking until the meat is finished. Don’t overcook it as it still needs to bake in the oven.

4. Stuff the peppers tightly with the meat filling, dividing the contents of the skillet into four equal portions as best you can.

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5. In a small baking dish (I used 8×8), pour the salsa into the bottom of the dish and place your peppers upright (per the picture above)

6. Sprinkle cheese on top of each pepper, then place the baking dish in the oven. Again, if you are tracking your macros weigh out your cheese prior to placing it on top of the pepper you had set aside for yourself.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, watch out for overcooking! You want the peppers to still be slightly firm.

8. Remove peppers from baking dish and cut in half down the middle. Use salsa from the baking dish as a topping, if desired, I accounted for ¼ of the jar of salsa for the macros so I could top my peppers with salsa.

MACROS for the filling (assuming all 4 portions are equal sized; this also includes the macros for the salsa topping): 29P | 20C | 2F

MACROS an entire pepper (mine weighed 180g; and filling): 30.5P  | 30.5C | 2.5F

If you chose to top your peppers with, simply add those macros to the above. For example, the Go Veggie! Mexican shreds I added to the other peppers have a macro count of 0P | 7C | 6F per serving, so if you added 28g (1 serving) of Go Veggie Mexican shreds to your pepper, the macros for your meal would be 30.5P | 37.5C | 8.5F – which is still a GREAT macronutrient count for an entire meal!

The pepper left me feeling full and happy, especially because I love getting to cook for others and don’t do it often enough. This is a great meal idea if you’re cooking for others and want to partake and actually eat what everyone else is eating. Whoever you’re cooking for won’t even be able to tell that it’s less than 300 calories for an entire pepper (without the cheese, it is still less than 400 calories WITH the cheese)! They wi ll have ZERO idea just how healthy they’re eating!

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Xo,

Leta

Macro-Friendly Pizza

Most of the time if you are trying to lose weight or eat healthy, the thought of pizza makes you cringe. Not because it doesn’t sound appetizing, but because it sounds so unbelievably delicious and you know you shouldn’t be eating it because it will throw you off track with your diet.

Well, cringe no more! I love pizza and I love finding ways to eat my favorite foods, without the guilt. One of my favorite diet hacks is my macro-friendly buffalo chicken pizza.

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Here’s what you need:

— 1 low carb tortilla (I use La Tortilla Factory, Low Carb, Whole Wheat Tortillas — they are packed with fiber!)
— 1/4C Prego Light Smart Marinara Sauce
— 1/2C (56g) Go Veggie! Mozzarella shreds (I opt for vegan cheese by preference only, because I don’t like to have a lot of dairy in my diet, but you can always opt for a reduced fat mozzarella if dairy doesn’t bother your stomach — reduced fat Kraft mozzarella is very similar in macros)
— 2oz. diced pre-cooked chicken breast
— 1/4C (28g) diced green pepper
— Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
— Walden Farms Ranch dressing

 

Cooking Instructions:

— Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
— Place tortilla on baking sheet.
*Poke holes in tortilla with a fork to avoid air bubbles in your “crust”
— Spread sauce evenly on top of crust, leaving 1/2 inch around the edges
— Top with diced green peppers and diced chicken breast
— Drizzle Frank’s red hot and Walden Farms Ranch across toppings
— Sprinkle cheese on top

Cook for 8-11 minutes or until tortilla crust is golden brown. Let pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing.

The best part is… the serving size is the entire pizza!

Enjoy!

MACROS: 38g Protein | 26g Carbs | 13g Fat

Of course, if any one macro is too high for your intake adjust toppings as necessary to fit your individual macronutrient targets.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know in the comments below!

Xo,

Leta