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Replacing A Well Pump

We were having water “issues” for quite awhile ~ stinky smelling water, rusty water, etc. I knew in my gut something was wrong as our neighbor across the street told us his water is clear and good-tasting.

So it was that one morning my husband woke me up and said “We have no water.” Blearily I got up to check and, yes, we had no water (now, why would I have doubted him?). I’m not sure what type of help I could be but, hey, gotta support the husband. I called our home warranty company and they told me they would have a contractor call me to come take a look.

In the meantime, husband headed downstairs to where the water heater, water softener, etc. are located and turned the water softener on and off.  Whala!  The water came back.  So, I sheepishly called the home warranty company back and canceled the appointment.

The water seemed to have very low pressure though and throughout the day I tried to conserve as much water as I could. The next morning we woke up to no water again.  Bah!

A not-so-quick call to our home warranty company and within a couple hours I had an appointment for someone to come to see what the problem was.

Sure enough ~ the well water pump had to be replaced.  And so our journey began.

Below is a picture of the well cap which goes over the casing that has the pipes that go to the well pump. The company will remove this cap and have to pull pipes from here to get to the water pump.

Well Cap

Well Cap

Here’s a picture of the men working to remove the well cap and getting the truck ready to remove the pipes from inside the casing.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

The top of the truck had this long “tower” that has a cable on it so each pipe can be pulled out since the well is approximately 179 feet deep.

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Replacing A Well Pump

The first pipe came out easily, was galvanized and looked quite clean.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

A large wrench was used to turn the galvanized pipe to help with its removal.

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Replacing A Well Pump

The rest of the pipes were made of PVC material.

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Replacing A Well Pump

The further down the pipe was the dirtier it looked as it was removed.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

The wrench was quite helpful in removing one pipe from another.

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Replacing A Well Pump

And sometimes more than one wrench had to be used.

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Replacing A Well Pump

The cable was quite long and each time one pipe appeared it was removed from the cable and set to the side.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Notice how the pipes are joined together.

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Replacing A Well Pump

Here are a couple of the PVC pipes.  As they were pulled up the men would use their gloved hand to remove the water & rust that came up with it.

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Replacing A Well Pump

Look at how black the last pipe appears.  It is attached to the well pump.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

And here is the well pump which is 4 inches.

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Replacing A Well Pump

I guess after 22 years it’s bound to get dirty, no?

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Replacing A Well Pump

Here’s a close up of the well pump.  In laymen’s terms ~ yuck!

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Unfortunately, well pumps can’t be cleaned.  I wonder why that is? Perhaps since it takes so long and costs so much to remove them it makes more sense just to replace them.

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Replacing A Well Pump

This is just gross looking to me.  Normally (well, okay, maybe it’s not normal) I would ask a contractor to leave the part so I can inspect it but I wasn’t sure how I would dispose of it later so I didn’t keep the old well pump.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

And tada!  Here’s the new one.

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Replacing A Well Pump

The pump has to go back down in the casing along with the pipes they pulled out.  Uh, of course!  (laughing)

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

It looked so pretty I hated to see it go down into that deep dark pit …. (laughing)

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

But, down it went!

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

It had to be attached to the cable to guide it down the casing. And, wouldn’t you know it?  It didn’t fit.  Argghhhh!

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Because of all the guck in the well casing, they had to change out the 4″ well pump for a 3″ well pump.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

And down it went … I felt sorry for the gentleman on the phone with the home warranty company as he was on hold practically the whole time he was working which was over 45 minutes.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

The PVC pipe now had to be connected to the well pump one pipe at a time.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

They used what I believe to be electrical tape to make sure the pipes stayed together.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Here’s a close up of the cable contraption.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

A hose was attached to a spigot so that they could make sure that all the nasty water was taken out.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

They started pumping the water out of the well and …

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Black gold! We struck oil!  Naw, just kidding …

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

And now ~ it’s clear!  Success!  They allowed the water to flow for about 15 minutes to make sure it stayed clear.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

The last pipe had to be placed before they put the well cap back on.

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

 

Replacing A Well Pump

Replacing A Well Pump

And that is how they replaced the well pump.  Whew!!!

I told my husband this looked easy to do but who wants to pay for an expensive truck with a long cable that will sit around until you need it once every 15 or so years?

This was quite an adventure for me and I’m grateful that the contractors allowed me to take pictures.  Quite fascinating!

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A Busy Yet Lazy Summer

It’s been a little over 4 weeks since I’ve posted anything new.

Summer has been both “slow” and also gone by quickly.  I spent a couple of weeks preparing for guests and another two weeks with guests in the house. During that time I did minimal yard work, cooking and little of anything else except being a hostess.

Not sure what I’ll be doing about yard work as the weather here has been hot and humid.  It didn’t help that I got bitten by three ticks.  Ughh.  We got them off almost right away but I still have the fear of getting Lyme disease which the black legged ticks can transmit.

Unfortunately? the three ticks I had were really small ~ nymphs they are called ~ so I couldn’t see their legs.  I’m considering going to the doctor to get tested for Lyme disease as a “just in case.”  It can be treated with antibiotics but only if it’s caught early.

I don’t really have any symptoms although lately I’ve had a sinus headache, backache and have felt tired.  I can also attribute that to the weather though.

Right now it feels like we are living in a dense forest.  With all the rain we’ve had in Minnesota, we are no longer in a drought and all of the saplings have become young adults (hahaha ~ that’s my attempt at a joke).

Seriously though, we probably have 15 saplings that need to come down and 5 really large trees that also must come down. It has to happen because I can’t live in darkness.  All this shade makes me somber and lethargic.

Fortunately, for my birthday this summer my husband asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted a bunch of trees felled and, guess what?  He agreed!  Yippity do da!

The areas on our property that I cleared last year of buckthorn and of the garlic mustard plant look pretty good this year. Well, at least the buckthorn didn’t grow back but the garlic mustard continues to prosper much to my dismay. I have used 2 large containers of Roundup this year to kill this weed but unfortunately I may wind up purchasing another container before summer is over.

So ~ since summer has been kind’ve lazy, I haven’t been trying new recipes. That should change here come September.

I have a backlog of things to share that have been happening so ~ stay tuned.

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Corned Beef Hash
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Paleo Corned Beef Hash

Saturday evenings I normally look for easy recipes to make and this Corned Beef Hash was perfect.  Add roasted brussel sprouts, fresh petite tomatoes and a fried egg and you’ve got a winner.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. can of corned beef
  • 1 large sweet potato cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Pepper and Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium sized skillet, add 2 tablespoons of ghee on low heat.
  2. When the ghee is melted, add the onion and jalapeno and saute until the onions are clear.
  3. Add the sweet potato and corned beef then stir this together for about 10 minutes.
  4.  Add the remaining tablespoon of ghee then turn up the heat and cook until the potato becomes crisp. (Use a fork to poke through one of the pieces to make sure it’s soft and cooked through.)
  5. When the mixture is cooked through, add the basil and season with the salt and pepper.

This can be made for breakfast, brunch or a quick lunch.

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

I am not a big fan of canned “anything” but wanted something that was truly quick. Keep in mind that canned corned beef does have quite a bit of sodium though.

Hope you enjoy it!

For more paleo recipes, click here.

 

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The Rose
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Getting To Know Each Other

Surface relationships. Have you ever had one? Are you in one now?

As Christians we sometimes wear masks to appear godly ~ to appear as if we are in control of our own lives.

The trouble with this facade is that people don’t really get to know us and the relationship is dwarfed.

I came across this Scripture in my reading today:

“… because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”  1 Thessalonians 2:8

Paul hits the nail on the head when he embraces a fuller relationship with others.

It’s not enough for us to share the gospel with each other. The real “meat” in a relationship comes when we are able to share our lives with each other thus being able to uplift and encourage and yes, have those belly laughs together.

Weaknesses, strengths, hurts, joys, temptations ~ why do we hide behind facades of joy most of the time?

Our journey on this earth is short. Trust me ~ time truly does appear to fly the older you get.

Don’t be afraid to share who you are.

Just as Jesus accepts us where we are, we too need to accept people where they are and hopefully be accepted in the same way.

Is this risky? Sure ~ you may be hurt if you’re rejected or misunderstood. But what if you’re not?

Food for thought:  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Let’s try to love ~ truly love ~ and come out from behind our masks.

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Paleo Sambal Oelek
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Paleo Sambal Oelek

I adapted a recipe I found online for this Paleo Sambal Oelek that I recently used in a Spicy Beef that I made. The original recipe made gobs of this and I really didn’t want a bunch sitting in my refrigerator ~ possibly spoiling if I didn’t use it right away.

This Sambal Oelek has a spicy sweet flavor to it.  If you want it more spicy, reduce the maple sugar by 1 tablespoon and/or you can add another pepper. Either way will work.

First, here are the ingredients you’ll be needing (salt not shown) ~

Ingredients for Paleo Sambal Oelek

Ingredients for Paleo Sambal Oelek

Ingredients

  • 1 Red Fresco Pepper (or any spicy pepper of your choosing) seeds removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 – 2 stalks lemongrass (I actually used only 1 ~ the white part only), sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple sugar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, chopped

Directions

  1. In a mortar and pestle, add the pepper, garlic, ginger and the lemon grass then grind/crush it as fine as you can. (You can also use a blender instead but I found this more fun.)
  2. Add the vinegar to the mortar and pestle and mix everything together.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the ground mixture and bring this to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer then add the maple syrup to the saucepan and stir everything together for a few minutes.
  5. Add the salt and the lime zest then stir to combine.
  6. Remove from the stovetop and add to whatever dish you’re making.

Remember ~ this has a sweet ‘n spicy flavor to it. Feel free to make it less sweet and more spicy or vice versa. It took me a long time but I can look at a recipe now and know whether I need to adjust it or not (I was a slow learner).

Next ~ enjoy!  I added this to a Paleo Spicy Beef dish I made and it came out great.

Paleo Sambal Oelek

Paleo Sambal Oelek

For more paleo recipes, click here.

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Paleo Spicy Beef
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Spicy Beef

This Spicy Beef recipe is spicy and sweet ~ what a treat to your palette!

I made paleo sambal oelek (a spicy chili sauce) from scratch to use in this recipe and was quite surprised how it turned out.  Kudos to the maple syrup!

The Spicy Beef is easy to make although the sambal oelek takes a tad more time but it’s worth it.

So ~ here’s the Paleo Spicy Beef recipe for your review.  I’ve included a link below to make the sambal oelek from scratch unless you want to purchase it at the market (may or may not be paleo).

Ingredients

  • 1.5 large white onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1.34 pounds ground beef (approximately)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon homemade sambal oelek (depending how spicy you want it)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, saute the onions in olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and turmeric.
  3. Season with salt and pepper then cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook through until it’s browned.
  5. Stir in the paleo sambal oelek and cook through another 5-10 minutes tasting as you go along to adjust for more sambal oelek until you get the right spice flavor.

That’s pretty much it.  I served this on a bed of rice with sliced petite tomatoes and it was scrumptious!

Paleo Spicy Beef

Paleo Spicy Beef

Here’s the link for the homemade Paleo Sambal Oelek.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

 

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Paleo Spicy Grilled Lamb Burgers
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Paleo Spicy Grilled Lamb Burgers

I made these burgers bite-size but if you wanted a full size burger you just need to add more meat when you grill them ~ just in time for summer grilling or even grilling them on the stovetop which is what I did.

These Paleo Spicy Grilled Lamb Burgers were truly a treat.  Even though I don’t enjoy spicy foods I put just enough red pepper flakes to give it a little “kick” without them being “too” spicy.

Let’s take a look at the recipe ~

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 2 tablespoons dried coriander
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic or 1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat a skillet on medium heat and add the olive oil
  2. Place the lamb in a large bowl then add the the mint, coriander, oregano, garlic, white wine vinegar, and maple syrup then mix everything together.
  3.  Add the cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper then mix well.
  4. Shape into 8 small patties (or 4 large ones).
  5. Grill the burgers 5 – 10 minutes on each side, or until well done.

Pretty simple, no? I served these bite sized lamb burgers with rosemary roasted sweet potatoes and sliced tomatoes.

I’ll be putting this recipe on my “favorites list” as they really came out delicioso!

Paleo Spicy Grilled Lamb Burgers

Paleo Spicy Grilled Lamb Burgers

For additional Paleo recipes, click here.

This recipe was adapted from Spicy Lamb Burgers found on AllRecipes.com

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Chicken Cauliflower Casserole
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Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

This paleo Chicken Cauliflower Casserole is so simple to make that I will probably make it quite often.

I just happened to have some leftover cauliflower from when I made the Spicy Indian Cauliflower dish.  I’m always excited when I can use leftover ingredients from one dish as it cuts down on the budget. Makes sense, no?

This dish came out quite tasty. Pat, pat on my back. (I have some bragging rights, don’t I?)

Here’s the recipe for you to try ~

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Sea Salt, dash
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cleaned and cut into small bite size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and when heated, add the onion and cook until it’s clear.
  3. Add the garlic, basil and parsley to the onion, stir and let this cook for a minute or so.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cauliflower to the onion mixture then season with salt.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet mixture and stir everything together.
  6. In a 9 x 13 baking pan (I used glass), cover the bottom with aluminum foil, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and use a pastry brush to coat the bottom of the foil.
  7. Add the chicken mixture to the baking pan, cover this with aluminum foil then bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

That’s it!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  I served this with half of a sweet potato and steamed broccoli.

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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Sunset, New Mexico
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Panic Attacks

A couple of months ago, I started having panic attacks. So far, a total of three that I consider major ~ but then, since I’ve never had them I don’t really know if they are major or not since I have nothing to compare them against except each other.

It was late in the evening when I experienced the first attack. I was feeling anxious for no particular reason that I knew of. When my husband and I went to bed, he fell asleep right away but I was wide awake ~ I usually don’t fall asleep til midnight unless I’ve done a lot of physical work. Suddenly, I felt that I had to get out of the house for 6 months.  Not just out of the house but out of Minnesota. How odd!  Strangely, I felt like I was being restrained.

Who in their right mind would want to leave the State they live in at that hour for no particular reason?

With tears streaming down my eyes, I sent a text to a friend who was a social worker in another state to see if she was awake. Fortunately she was and we texted back and forth as she asked me questions to see if we could pinpoint the problem.  Eventually she just offered for me to stay in her house if I “needed to get away.”

The feeling subsided and I feel  asleep.  When I awoke, I was back to “normal” yet felt a little uneasy about what happened.

A week or so later, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner and suddenly felt as if something was enveloping me ~ a very strange sensation that I can’t really explain. “Something” was surrounding me and seemed to have a hold on me.

I stopped what I was doing and stood there when suddenly a thought popped into my head ~ “Why don’t I just walk to the nearby lake which was almost melted, walk on the ice and if I fall in, well, who would miss me?”

The thought startled me so much that I started crying uncontrollably. Where was this coming from? I didn’t feel anxious yet this thought sounded suicidal to me.

After 15 minutes, the feeling subsided and I returned to “normal.”

I started researching panic attacks on the internet and self-diagnosed myself. I would discuss this with my doctor when I went in for my annual checkup.

But I was not immune to another attack before my doctor appointment.

This time, I had been soundly asleep and woke up feeling the same sensation ~ something was surrounding my body.  I went to the bathroom and as I was walking back to the bedroom, I told myself that this would pass as that is one helpful tip I remembered from reading on the internet.

Once I affirmed that “this would pass” the feeling subsided.

In talking with a few people, I learned that there are quite a few others who suffer from panic attacks. Have you ever felt like this?

When I went for my yearly checkup I told my doctor about these attacks and she was concerned but explained that as we get older we sometimes have feelings of wanting to flee as we reflect back on our lives and this can cause us to feel “panic.”

Well, okay … I understand the “getting older” part but not necessarily the anxiety that might be caused by looking back at our past.

The doctor gave me a prescription and told me to take a pill at the onset of the panic attack. She said it can also be taken if I get anxious when traveling on a plane (although I’ve never needed anything before for traveling.)  Otherwise, she said, if I take a pill when I don’t have an attack it would just make me sleepy.

An interesting thing ~ I haven’t had a panic attack since I left her office.

 

 

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Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper
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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sometimes I go to Costco (a large warehouse store) and purchase food that, unfortunately, has to bought in bulk.

I always seem to pick up a package of 6 peppers and thus this paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe. My go-to book for vegetables is called 1000 Vegan Recipes which has some really great recipes. (Doesn’t the phrase Bell Pepper make you think of the limerick “Peter Piper Picked A Pack of Pickled Peppers?”)  (laughing)

I adapted the recipe, especially removing the beans, and present it to you below.

Feel free to substitute yellow or green peppers ~ as long as it’s a fairly large pepper, it should work fine for you.  Although I don’t have a preference in peppers, I realize some people do.

Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, lightly rinsed, patted dry and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup dry flax meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
  2. Cook the peppers in a pot of boiling water to soften ~ about 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit and lightly oil a 9×13 inch baking pan and set it aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat then add the onion, cover and cook until it’s softened.
  5. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 5 additional minutes.
  6. Add the walnuts, pecans, parsley, dill, half the flax meal and the chia seeds to the mushroom mixture then season with salt and pepper and let this cook through for another 5 minutes.
  7. Stuff the softened pepper halves with enough of the stuffing mixture to fill the peppers then arrange the stuffing side up in the prepared baking pan.
  8. Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes then uncover, sprinkle with the remaining flax meal and continue baking until the peppers are hot ~ about 10 minutes longer.

This was truly delicious! I paired this with a Spinach Turkey Frittata  (although I substituted beef instead of turkey) and it was perfect.

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Paleo Stuffed Bell Pepper

Adapted from the recipe found at 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Pg. 335, to paleo-ize.

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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