Category Archives: Music (and/as/is) Life

Off key and on point.

LFF Recipies: Stuffed Bell Peppers

I’ll be posting recipes regularly, throughout Low Fat February, with as much nutritional info about the dishes as I can gather. I’m big on easy cooking ideas with fewer ingredients, and without things you’ve only ever seen on cooking shows. Today, we’re making bell peppers, stuffed with a tasty ground turkey blend.

For low fat, the turkey is the thing we’re focusing on. According to My Fitness Pal, a website I found, you’re looking at about 1g of fat per ounce of drained 93/7 ground turkey. This recipe breaks the turkey into four peppers, so that’s 4g of fat each, with about 25g of protein. Not too shabby.

Plus, all that dietary fiber in the bell pepper is good on the back end, if you catch my drift (pun intended).

For this one, I use seasoned salt, which doubles up some of the spices, but that’s how I roll. Feel free to use regular salt or, if salt intake is one of your concerns, a salt substitute.

Anyway, here’s the recipe.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 bell peppers, tops cut off and hollowed
1 lb. ground turkey, browned and drained
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup corn, steamed
3 oz tomato paste (about 1/3 can)
1/4 cup water
salt (or seasoned salt!) and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

After you drain the ground turkey, add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, and water. Mix that up and let it simmer until the onions are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Add corn. Stuff peppers.

Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes, until peppers are tender-looking, on a cookie sheet or some other form of heat tray. Eat by carving slices and eating them. Mmmm…

Pre-cooked goodness. Good thing you're always hungry these day.
Pre-cooked goodness. Good thing you’re always hungry these days. We only made two, which leaves plenty of extra mix for tacos tomorrow!

Now, you can top the stuffed pepper with cheese, before you put it in the oven, but we’re not doing that today, since a thin layer of cheese would triple this recipe’s fat levels. Still, if you gotta do it, rock on with you bad self.

An Evening with E.A.R.L.

I spent a long time pursuing things that kept me away from social situations. Now that I’m not working every evening of every weekend, I can do things others take utterly for granted, like not go to work on a Saturday night.

I’ve gone to see E.A.R.L. play live plenty of times. I’ve been in bands that played live with them. I own all of their vast anthology of recorded music. The music is not why I went to their practice.

A few of the band members, I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. School and work took this part of my life away from me. It was worth it, but it was also a great feeling to be coming back to it, coming home. A band is a lot like a family, in the sense that you can pick up right where you left off, catch up for a bit, and then act like no time has passed at all.

earlbanner

A band is a lot like a family; you spend time together, argue, annoy each other, love, share special occasions, create, bicker, talk shit. In the end, band-mates you spend enough time with become your family, along with all the good and bad that comes with it.

The E.A.R.L. boys have been together for a long, long time, especially for a local music group that has never achieved commercial success greater than a local music award. The sense of family they have is palpable, and extends around them. Many of their fans feel like family. They treat me like family.

Even though I didn’t come to hear them play, they surprised me.

Music is as important to the people who create it as it is to the listeners it affects. Jones, the lead vocalist, is one of my closest friends. We share a lot in common, so it’s no wonder that much of his lyrics speaks to me on a personal level.

Point in case:

You’ll never regret anything more than the kinds of things you didn’t get the chance to change, but firmly believe you could have. I keep saying that we can never know what goes on in the minds of others, but sometimes you don’t even get the chance try and find out. That’s the worst: knowing you messed up, and having countless scenarios in your head for things you could do differently, if only you got the chance.

I’ve had recent experience with this, and perhaps that is why I was struck so by what I encountered that night.

During their practice, E.A.R.L. played one of their new songs, and it gave me pause. I’m obviously not the only one that has felt the sentiments from the previous paragraphs, and hearing such a perfect version of my thoughts on the subject, presented by another, impacted me greatly.

I asked if they would play the song again, so that I might record it and put it into my blog. They agreed. It’s grainy, and filmed in a dark room from my cell phone, but here it is:

“Mulligan”

If you like what you hear, E.A.R.L. has a huge collection of recorded music you can buy. They have a page on my own 5150records.com website, where you can listen to several of their songs, watch many music videos, and get information on how to see them live and buy their stuff.

During the practice break, we sat outside, drinking beer, and enjoying the company. Anything could be said, and there was never a feeling like you couldn’t say what you wanted. That’s how “home” feels to me.

In talking with the drummer, Heber, I’ve always found the biggest contrast. He prefers to come off as an obnoxious jerk, yet has such a caring, profound view of the world around him. We talked about his job, and I pointed out that, even though everyone thinks he’s an asshole, he’s still respected, his views coveted, and his advice sought after. He’s intelligent and has his head on straight, and people can always see that through any number of sardonic layers.

For posting this and surrounding it with my feelings about music and family, Heber would call me something I am not going to repeat here.
For posting this and surrounding it with my feelings about music and family, Heber would call me something I am not going to repeat here.

When I was working for Save Mart, I was the same way. It has to do with the desire to be a positive element in people’s lives. Maybe I came across as mean, or sarcastic, or a total dick, but the arguments I presented were rarely refutable. Plus, I’ve always found that people will remember a lesson, if it left a bad taste in their mouth, much more readily than if you simply told them what to do.

The music produced by E.A.R.L. does this, quite often. A scathing view, the harshest ways of presenting truths, an unapologetic tone: these are tools open to musicians that normal people are afraid to use in every day life. For me, it’s that honesty that is most tre; it’s the closest I ever get to feeling like people are telling me what they are really thinking.