USANA Test Kitchen: Sanoviv-Inspired Stuffed Peppers

To say my eating habits have changed over the last few years is an understatement. Carrots and corn were pretty much the only vegetables I would eat as a kid — OK, even as a young adult too.

Now I have asparagus, broccoli, spinach, peppers, and other vegetables in my regular meal rotation. I don’t know if these veggies have tasted good all along, or if I’m just getting older and my tastes are changing. I’m going to believe the latter.

Despite my newfound appreciation for healthy food, I was still a little nervous about the meals served at the Sanoviv Medical Institute during the RESET Challenge: Destination Transformation trip.

I was the lucky writer sent to cover the grand-prize vacation. And with no knowledge of the expert chefs at the medical facility, my imagination almost got the best of me. Those crazy thoughts were quickly squashed after the first night’s dinner of delicious stuffed peppers.

Every meal after that was not only insanely healthy, but super tasty too.

Just a few of the delicious meals served at Sanoviv.

Just a few of the delicious meals served at Sanoviv.

Now that I’ve experienced Sanoviv cooking, I thought I would give one of the Sanoviv-inspired cookbook recipes a try at home.

My husband, like me, was a tad skeptical at first. But once I made the stuffed peppers and avocado salad for him, he agreed — these recipes are good. Like, really good. The ultimate stamp of approval is when he says, “You should make this again.”

A few things about the stuffed peppers and avocado salad recipes. Instead of the wild or brown rice, I used quinoa. You can also use shrimp, beef, or turkey in place of the chicken. And substitute zucchini or squash for the tomatoes if you’d like. This recipe is so versatile, you can make it however you want.

As for the avocado salad, I didn’t know how to prepare jicama. (Thanks to Google, now I do.) So for the first go-round, I didn’t include it. I was also out of fresh onion, so I just used some onion flakes — I wouldn’t recommend it. Fresh is always the way to go. Still, this salad is so refreshing, it’s perfect for a warm summer day.

Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers taste as good as they look.

These stuffed peppers taste as good as they look.


  • 3 large bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. organic olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • ½ cup cooked wild or brown rice (or quinoa)
  • ½ cup pine nuts

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut peppers in half (lengthwise) and scoop out the center. In a large skillet, soften the onion with a pinch of salt and the oil for 3-5 minutes over low heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and all spices. Stir well for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pack the mixture in the pepper halves and place in a baking dish that is coated in coconut oil or butter. Pour hot water in the bottom of the dish (just enough to cover the bottom). Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Makes six servings.

Avocado Salad

This refreshing avocado salad pairs nicely with the stuffed peppers.

This refreshing avocado salad pairs nicely with the stuffed peppers.


  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed
  • 1 cup jicama, cubed
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. unrefined sea salt

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add the avocado last.

Makes four servings.

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