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Better than a bun! Some tasty recipes that don’t need to be served on bread

MILWAUKEE -- Looking for ways to eat more fruits and veggies? Start using them as vessels! Meghan Sedivy with Fresh Thyme Farmers Market joins Real Milwaukee with some ways to start.

According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, emerging research suggests eating fruit and veggies every day of the week can help improve happiness, life satisfaction and emotional well being. So start eating more today! Using veggies such as mushrooms, bell peppers and potatoes to replace buns, wraps and tortilla shells are a great way to increase your veggie intake and reduce the need to do the dishes

Walnut 'Vegan' Chorizo Stuffed Potato
Ingredients

  • 4 medium yellow potatoes
  • 2½ cups raw California walnuts
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of Fresh Thyme black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme white vinegar
  • 1 (1.25 oz.) pkg. Fresh Thyme taco seasoning

Fresh Thyme pico de gallo

  • Avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • Radish, sliced
  • Fresh cilantro

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Scrub potatoes; prick with a fork several times. Place potatoes directly on oven rack or use a pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine walnuts and black beans in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 2 Tbsp. oil, enchilada sauce, vinegar, and taco seasoning to food processor; pulse again until mixture is the size of grains of rice; set aside.
Remove potatoes from oven and cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Cut potatoes open lengthwise and fluff with a fork.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer walnut mixture to skillet and cook until it is browned and resembles ground meat; stir frequently. Divide mixture evenly among potatoes.
Top with pico de gallo, avocado, radish, and cilantro, as desired.

Bison Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
• Portabella mushrooms are packed with B vitamins, antioxidants like selenium and is one of the rare foods that contain vitamin D (953 IU units per ¾ cup mushrooms)
• Mushrooms contain a great savory flavor called umami that mimics the flavor of meat as well as contains a meat like texture to make your meal more satisfying and filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Fresh Thyme roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 lb. ground bison
  • 1 cup Fresh Thyme cauliflower rice
  • 2 Fresh Thyme large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Thyme garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Thyme fine sea salt
  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir roasted red peppers, onion, and ground bison for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and bison is no longer pink. Drain.

Transfer bison mixture to a large bowl. Add cauliflower rice, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
Using a spoon, remove stems and gills from mushrooms. Place mushrooms on prepared pan. Fill mushroom caps with bison mixture.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Mediterranean Tuna-Stuffed Peppers

• Colorful bell peppers are a nutritional powerhouse packed with almost an entire day`s worth of vitamin A to promote healthy vision and provides over 100% of the daily value of vitamin C which helps boost the immune system.
• When vitamin C rich foods like bell peppers are paired with iron rich foods like tuna, the vitamin C helps the body absorb iron at a quicker and more effective rate.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
  • 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Thyme Israeli couscous
  • 1 (5-oz.) can Fresh Thyme chunk tuna
  • 1/4 cup black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded fresh basil, plus more for topping
  • Fresh Thyme fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place pepper halves in dish.

Microwave peppers on high (100% power) for 2 minutes or until almost soft. Turn pepper halves cut sides up. Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package directions.

For stuffing, in a large bowl, combine the couscous, tuna, olives, feta, roasted red pepper, pine nuts, olive oil and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the couscous stuffing into the pepper halves and bake for 10 minutes or until heated through. To serve, top with additional basil.

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