When I make this recipe, I think of my aunt. Her dad was a chef and she said this was one of her favorite meals that he made. It is no wonder since beef short ribs are fall-apart, tender with rich flavor since they are braised for several hours in a red wine sauce.

Short ribs are a meaty cut of beef but can also be fatty. This is the reason they need to be prepared properly — seared first on all sides and then cooked long and slow. The recipe also calls for ‘soffritto’ the Italian word for the vegetable flavor-base of onions, carrots, celery and garlic, diced small. The soffritto is sautéed until slightly brown and then tomato paste added. They are finished in a covered pot with the seared beef on low temperature while cooking in the red wine and broth liquids. Your kitchen will be aromatic with the wonderful flavors as the ingredients begin to blend.

This is pure comfort food but can also be an elegant dinner party entrée. It does take many steps and several hours to make but it is worth it in the end and will become a family favorite!

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs served over Cauliflower Mash

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients:

6 – 8 beef short ribs

Salt and ground pepper

3 TBSP olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves, minced or smashed

1 large onion, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 TBSP tomato paste

2 cups dry red wine (your choice, I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy/Pinot Noir or Zinfandel)

3 cups beef stock or broth

3 sprigs thyme

3-4 bay leaves

2 TBSP all-purpose flour

1 TBSP heavy cream

Handful of parsley chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle beef with salt and ground pepper on both sides. Let rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Once a drop of water dances on the surface, add the 4 beef ribs to the pan. Brown 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove and repeat with remaining ribs. Place the seared beef ribs on a plate and set aside.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium, add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes until softened.
  5. Add the tomato paste and blend, cooking for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves. Blend the mixture completely until the tomato paste is dissolved.
  7. Return the seared beef ribs to the pot and nestle into the liquid.
  8. Cover with the lid and cook on the stove top for up to 2.5 hours, or until the meat falls apart from the bone.
  9. Remove the beef ribs carefully from the pot to a cutting board. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  10. At this point, you can either strain the liquid in the pot pressing the juice out of the vegetables and then discarding them; returning the liquid back to the pan. Or, keep the vegetables (as I do) and proceed in thickening the sauce.
  11. To thicken the sauce, add the flour and heavy cream in a small bowl and mix until the flour is completely dissolved. Then, add a spoonful of the cooking liquid from the pan to the bowl to blend and heat up the flour mixture. Add this to the vegetable mixture and stir until combined thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  12. Place the beef on a serving platter or directly into individual serving bowls. Spoon the vegetable sauce over. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Normally, I’d serve this over mashed potatoes or polenta but to keep it low carb I used Cauliflower Mash instead. Whatever you choose, it will be delicious!

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

The Land Where Lemons Grow” (author Helena Attlee) is a fantastic story of the citrus fruit that is native to Italy. Attlee’s book is a wonderful journey through history from Sicily to Southern Italy and all places where the lemons grow. Once thought of as an exotic fruit, lemons are now used abundantly in our cooking. For me, I enjoy Italian cooking and using lemons in everything from entrees to desserts.

This Italian Lemon Pound Cake is made in a traditional Bundt pan (my is the Anniversary Pan from William Sonoma) even though it is a pound cake recipe. It is super moist in texture and rich with citrus flavor, but not enough to make your lips pucker. I think this is one of the best lemon cake recipes I’ve found.

Italian Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream such as Daisy or Knudsen

4 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

Zest from 2 lemons (about 2 TBSP) and some for garnish

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease the Bundt pan with baking spray, butter or lard. Get all creases or the cake will stick.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger and 2 TBSP lemon zest.
  4. Mix half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the buttermilk and then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix until the flour disappears.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. The cake is ready once a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean. I check on the cake around 50 minutes to determine the amount of time left. This will depend on your oven.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for about 25-30 minutes. Invert onto a cake platter and let cool longer. Once the cake is room temperature glaze or sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
  8. To glaze the cake, use 1 1/2 cups powered sugar mixed well with 3 TBSP lemon juice. The mixture should be smooth but not runny. If it is too stiff to drizzle add a small amount of whipping cream or milk and mix. I continue doing this until it is a consistency that will drizzle and stick to the cake (not be liquidy or runny).

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

My love affair with New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Mardi Gras began over 25 years ago. Living in the South, while going to LSU, cemented my appreciation of Cajun, Creole and Southern cooking. I learned to make a proper Roux for etouffee and gumbo; throw a “crawfish boil” feast; Cajun-inject a fried turkey for a “Death Valley” football tailgate; and recreate every Tigerland Jell-O shot I remember.

Southern culture is second to none with rich music, hospitality and food. I will forever be a “Tiger” at heart — bleeding purple and gold — and a Southern/Comfort food aficionado. Even though, Fat Tuesday came and went for another year, this Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo can be made any season. You can also add or substitute the chicken with shrimp, crawfish or crab. The key is to ‘perfect’ the Roux, which means patience is your guide!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

3 ribs of celery, diced

1 cup canola oil

1 cup All-Purpose flour

1 1/2 lbs Andouille sausage, diced

8 to 10 boneless chicken thighs (dark meat adds much more flavor and do not recommend chicken breasts)

4 TBSP Creole seasoning such as Tony’s Creole Seasoning, Zatarain’s, or my favorite Slap Ya Mama (my kids bought it for me)

2 cups fresh okra sliced (optional — I do not like it, which means I leave it out)

3 TBSP garlic, minced

6 cups chicken stock (save the chicken stock from the thighs when you cook them in the oven)

3-4 bay leaves

2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

Hot Sauce to taste such as Crystal or McIlhenny Tabasco

Cooked white rice, enough for 10 servings

Diced green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. Dice the onions, celery and bell pepper — a.k.a. the “holy trinity” or “mirepoix.” Mix together and set aside.
  2. Brown the diced Andouille sausage in a large fry pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Remove once browned, but reserve the sausage grease to add to the roux.
  3. Add the chicken thighs to a baking dish or pan. Sprinkle each piece with salt, ground pepper and Creole seasoning. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Once finished, pour the chicken broth into a glass bowl. Set aside both the broth and chicken until each is cool. Once the chicken is cool, you can shred or cut it into pieces.
  4. Begin making the roux, which will take about 25 to 30 minutes. The goal is a mixture that is the color of chocolate. Add the canola oil to a Dutch oven on medium heat. When the oil is hot (sizzles when you add a drop of water) slowly begin adding the flour 1/8 cup at a time. Each time you add 1/8 cup, whisk the oil and flour thoroughly to dissolve. You will only whisk continuously with each new addition of flour. Then, you’ll need to rest a minute or two before adding in the next portion. Continue this until you add all the equal portions of flour.Yes, you will need patience!
  5. Once the roux is dark enough, turn down the heat to medium low. Add in the sausage grease, remaining seasonings and the onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the okra, cook for another 3 minutes. (Skip this step if you leave it out like I do.)
  7. Add the sausage. Stir the mixture until thoroughly combine.
  8. Add the chicken stock from both the chicken thighs and any additional you’ll need to make 6 cups. Add the garlic.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, lower it to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  10. About 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, add the cut up chicken to the pot. Then, add the Worcestershire and hot sauce, if using.
  11. To serve, place the cooked white rice on the bottom of each bowl. Add a large soup spoonful (or two) of the gumbo mixture over the rice. Garnish with green onions.
Creole Seasoning and Hot Sauces

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

Mac and Cheese is a comfort food that both children and adults enjoy and there are so many variations to make! Earlier this year, I posted my Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe that I learned to make while living in New England. Today, I’m posting a recipe for a basic homemade Mac and Cheese that our kids request often. It is super easy and loaded with Gruyere, that is a Swiss or Alpine-type cheese making it both sweet and slightly salty, and Cheddar that gives it a sharp, tangy flavor. Topping the macaroni with the Ritz Cracker crumble puts this recipe over the top making it a family favorite.

Homemade Mac & Cheese (Vegetarian)

Ingredients:

1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi pasta (which means corkscrew in Italian)

1 quart milk

1 stick unsalted butter, divided plus 1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups Gruyere cheese, grated

2 cups extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cups Ritz Crackers, about 17-18 crackers crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salt water, add a drizzle of oil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, usually 7-8 minutes. Drain well. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the milk on medium to low heat until hot but not boiled.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium to low heat, melt 6 TBSP butter. Add the flour. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for 3-4 minutes until thickened and smooth. Turn off the heat, add the Gruyere and Cheddar cheeses, 1 tsp salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine thoroughly. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well.
  5. Pour the macaroni mixture into a 3-quart baking dish.
  6. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and combine thoroughly with the crushed Ritz Crackers. (I place the crackers in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them beforehand.). Sprinkle the cracker mixture over the macaroni. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the top of the macaroni is browned.

I served this with Oven-Baked Baby Back Ribs and Corn Muffins for a true Southern dinner that everyone thoroughly enjoyed!

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

Tall, Dark & Chocolate!

I do not think any dessert can live up to the Chocolate Fountain…and that’s a lot for a true Choc-o-holic to write! We purchased our Chocolate Fountain for a birthday celebration. It was such a hit, we used it twice in one week and the days in between weren’t quite the same!

Q. What can you dip in the Chocolate Fountain?

A. Just About Anything!

We used brownie, pound cake, marshmallows, pretzel rods and strawberries. The choices are endless!

For our fountain, we melted 16 ounces of dark chocolate such as Guittard or Ghirardelli and 3/4 cups vegetable oil in a double boil pan. Once it was melted and the fountain was warmed up (per the instructions), we poured the chocolate in the bottom tier. It then works its way up before cascading over the fountain in a delicious sheet of chocolate decadence!

You’ll also need to purchase Natural Wooden Bamboo Skewers that are 10″ or 12″ and any of the following dipper suggestions of choice:

*Bacon, pre-cooked

*Beef Jerky (not my choice, but it’ll satisfy the sweet and savory tastes)

*Bread sticks

*Brownies, cut in cubes

*Dessert Cheese such as goat cheese, Gouda, blue cheese, fontina or pecorino, cut in cubes

*Dried fruit such as apricots, kiwi, bananas or apples

*Fresh fruit such as apple slices, bananas, cherries, grapes, kiwi, melon, oranges, pears, pineapple and raspberries

*Cookies such as biscotti, graham crackers, lady fingers, macaroons, Pepperidge Farm Milanos (or any flavor), shortbread or wafers

*Marshmallows large size such as Kraft or Smash Mallow

*Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios or walnuts

*Pound Cake such as Sara Lee or Angel Food Cake cut in cubes

*Pretzel Rods such as Snyder’s or Utz’s

*Rice Crispy Treats from Kellogg’s, cut in cubes

The choices and creativity are endless with a Chocolate Fountain!

Note: If you do not have a chocolate fountain and do not want to purchase one, you can melt the chocolate in a double-boiler pan. Then, pour the chocolate into a serving bowl with your items ready to dip. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

One of our traditions is to let our kids pick their birthday menu. Chicken Saltimbocca was my step-daughter’s request for her celebration dinner. I’ve made this since 1999 and have shared it with many friends and family because it’s always a favorite. This time, I served it alongside Roasted Broccoli with Carrots and some Cauliflower Mash topped with toasted panko.

We learned from my son-in-law who is from Naples, Italy that “saltimbocca” means “to jump in (your) mouth.” I think that’s the perfect description for this delicious, versatile Italian chicken dish that was originally made with veal, sage and slices of ham.

Chicken Saltimbocca (Low Carb/Keto/Gluten-Free)

Ingredients for 6 servings:

3 large chicken breasts, cut lengthwise and flattened

Salt & ground pepper

3 TBSP olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 sprigs of rosemary, remove the needle-like leaves and chop fine

3-4 ounces of goat cheese

3 ounces of cream cheese

6 slices of proscuitto

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the 3 chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Between two pieces of wax paper flatten each chicken breast with a mallet. Season the 6 chicken breasts on both sides with salt and ground pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, add the olive oil, goat cheese, cream cheese and rosemary. Using a fork combine the mixture thoroughly.
  4. On a cutting board or work surface, lay a chicken breast down and spread a layer of the cheese mixture over the surface. Make sure to divide up the cheese evenly to have an equal amount for all 6 pieces.
  5. Roll-up the chicken breast and then wrap each one with a piece of prosciutto. If needed, use a toothpick to hold the chicken wrapped prosciutto breast closed. Lay the chicken seam side down in a baking dish. Repeat with each chicken breast.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the chicken is 165 degree F.
The chicken is done!

Notes: You can have a butcher prepare the chicken breasts outlined in number 2. Then, you’ll just need to season with salt and pepper before moving to numbers 3 through 6 in the directions.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

We have a house of teen and young adult children, which means I try to be creative in our low carbohydrate meal options. My goal is delicious dishes that are not boring or repetitive for any of us. This Baked Cheesy Meatball recipe fits all requirements. It is a cheesy topped casserole with a tangy, sweet tomato sauce that couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious.

Baked Cheesy Meatballs (Low Carb/Keto/Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

1 cup onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, smashed or minced

4 TBSP olive oil

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

1 pound Italian Sausage

1/2 cup seasoned Keto breadcrumbs, almond flour or Gluten-Free Panko such as Aleias

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup and 1 TBSP parsley, finely chopped

2 large eggs

1 TBSP fresh chopped basil, rosemary, thyme and/or oregano

Salt and ground pepper to taste

2 cups tomato sauce such as Yo Mama’s Foods Keto brand, Cento Tomato Sauce or Barilla Vero Gusto Sauce

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack positioned in the middle. Butter or spray a casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, add olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Italian sausage, breadcrumbs or panko, parmesan, 1/2 cup parsley, eggs, fresh herbs, salt and ground pepper to taste. Then, add the sautéed onions and garlic. Combine all ingredients thoroughly. (I use my clean, washed hands to kneed the mixture and combine completely.)
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out enough meat to make 1 1/2″ round balls. You can also use a cookie scoop but I like to form them in my hands and roll into balls that are all the same size. Place the meatballs in the prepared casserole dish. This will make about 25 to 30 meatballs.
  5. Bake them for 15 to 20 minutes until fully-cooked and brown. Remove from the oven and drain the grease.
  6. Then, top the meatballs with the tomato sauce and shredded cheese.
  7. Place the casserole dish back in the oven and cook for 5 additional minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
  8. Garnish with the remaining parsley.
Meatballs Ready to Bake!

This serves 6. I added a side of steamed broccoli. The kids got to top these delicious Baked Cheesy Meatballs over a bed of pasta. You can also add a side salad for a complete meal.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

This recipe is one of my favorite low-carbohydrate meals. The intense, sweet but tart flavor of sun-dried tomatoes mixed with the delicate shallots that are less abrasive than an onion make this cream sauce a perfect pairing with chicken breasts. Serving the chicken and cream sauce over cauliflower rice alongside roasted asparagus creates a flavorful, satisfying meal for anyone watching calories and reducing carbs. It is also a very quick and easy meal that anyone can master.

Chicken Breasts in Shallot and Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce (Keto/Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

3 large chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise

Salt and ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped (2 to 3 large bulbs)

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

1 8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes such as California Sun Dry, Bella Sun Luci or Mezzetta

1 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped finely

1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 TBSP parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Pour the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer to a plate set aside.
  3. Add shallots to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary and cook another 2 minutes until combined.
  4. Increase the heat to high and add the wine or broth. Cook scraping the bottom of the pan about 2 minutes until the liquid is almost evaporated.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cream mixing until completely combined. Add the chicken back to the pot with any of the accumulated juice. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
  6. Serve the chicken and garnish with parsley.

I served this wonderful chicken over cauliflower rice that I microwaved for four minutes but it would be perfect over white or brown rice and even polenta. I also included Roasted Asparagus cooked at 400 degree F for 15 minutes. Serves six.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

This Tuscan Kale and Vegetable Soup is a colorful masterpiece of flavor and healthy, farm-fresh ingredients. The vegetable choices and selections for this soup are endless. I used Tuscan kale, summer squash, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and Italian sausage with a dash of flavorful fresh herbs.

This can be a delicious low carb (Keto) meal. Or, if you leave out the Italian sausage it can easily be Vegetarian or if you use a meatless sausage option a scrumptious Vegan dish.

I was even successful in having our kids try and like it!

Tuscan Kale and Vegetable Soup with (or without) Italian Sausage

Ingredients:

3 TBSP olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

12 ounce package Italian Style Sausage Links such as aidells, chopped or sliced into bite-size pieces (this can be omitted for a Vegetarian recipe or you can use a meatless sausage such as Beyond Meat/Beyond Sausage for Vegan)

1 yellow summer squash, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped

12 green beans, cut in thirds

14.5 ounces Diced Italian Recipe Tomatoes such as S&W (for this recipe I only used half the can or 7 ounces to lower the sugar content)

6 cups vegetable broth (some extra to add if needed)

Fresh thyme and rosemary, chopped making about 2 TBSP

Salt and ground pepper to taste

2 cups Tuscan kale, chopped

Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on the soup

Handful of parsley, chopped to add as garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and then add the onion. Cook about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Add the chopped Italian sausage and cook until slightly browned about 4 to 5 minutes (eliminate this step for a Vegetarian or use the meatless substitute for a Vegan twist).
  3. Next, add the chopped vegetables — squash, carrots, mushrooms and green beans — into the pot, stirring and cooking another 6-7 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 2 minutes. Then, pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add in the fresh seasonings, stirring to combine.
  6. Add the Tuscan kale stirring to combine. Then, cover the pot with the lid for about 10 to 12 minutes. This will allow the kale to wilt on low temperature.
  7. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste. You can add more broth (heated in the microwave) if needed since some of the liquid will evaporate during the cooking process. Some people like less broth; I like more.
  8. Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan cheese and a garnish of parsley.

Note: You can add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the soup mixture when you add the kale. This will make the base slightly creamy and extra delicious. My step-daughter boiled rigatoni noodles and added it for a creative addition.

Enjoy! XOXO Jill

Today is Taco Tuesday! As everyone knows, it’s one of our family’s favorite meals of the week since tortillas and cheese are involved. This posed a dilemma during meal prep though since we altered our cooking for low carbohydrate options. Never fear, I dug deep and decided to make Stuffed Bell Peppers with a Mexican Twist.

This recipe is ground beef with onions, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini and Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, Mexican shredded cheese seasoned with basil, cumin, oregano and chili powder. Then, it is packed nicely into a bell pepper and topped with MORE cheese.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with a Mexican Twist

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 medium onion, chopped

4 gloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced

2/3 cups mushrooms, chopped

1/2 medium zucchini, chopped fine

14.5 ounces Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chili (I only used half and saved the rest for another use)

1 TBSP dried basil

1 TBSP dried oregano

1 TBSP cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and ground pepper to taste

6 bell peppers, any color (your preference)

1 1/2 cups Mexican shredded cheese or Monterey Jack (your preference)

Chopped cilantro (this is optional — you can substitute with parsley)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a large fry pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat for 6-7 minutes until almost cooked through. Drain the meat in a colander to remove any fat. Set aside.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the same pan and cook about 6 minutes over medium heat until translucent. Then, add the mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and all the seasonings. Mix together until thoroughly combined, and cook another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the meat back to into the pan with the other ingredients and stir to combine. Continue cooking about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and add 1 cup shredded cheese to the pan. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
  5. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and clean out the cavity to remove the ribs and seeds. Lightly sprinkle the inside of the peppers with salt and pepper.
  6. Neatly arrange the bell peppers in an 8×8 baking dish or casserole pan. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and let cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  7. Carefully, fill the peppers with the ground beef, vegetable and cheese mixture. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes more or until the peppers are knife tender and the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Serve with chopped cilantro.

Note: This recipe is designed for Keto but stuffed bell peppers are completely versatile. You can add anything you choose such as fresh or frozen corn and/or cooked white or brown rice. You can also swap out the ground beef for chicken or remove the meat entirely for a Vegetarian dish!

Enjoy! XOXO Jill