Southwestern Style Stuffed Bell Peppers by Odila from Texas 

You may already know of two styles of southwestern cooking: Tex-Mex and Cali-Mex cuisine. One main difference between the two is the use of ground meat (Tex-Mex) versus shredded meat (Cali-Mex). Southwestern Style Stuffed Bell Peppers call for ground beef as well as the herb,cumin, which is also a favorite in Tex-Mex dishes. However, no matter how you classify this recipe, it’s rich in nutrients and comfortingly satisfying to eat! 

DaVita dietitian Odila began her education in southwestern cooking as a child in Laredo, Texas. Later on, she traveled to San Antonio and attended Incarnate Word College where she received her training. Odila says she became a dietitian to instill better eating practices amongst individuals in need of dietary guidance. “We are what we eat,” says Odila. “I was led into the renal field by a nephrologist in need of a dietitian to work with his patients.” 

DaVita dietitians are renowned for meeting challenges with their patients in new but effective ways. Odila admits that the most challenging aspect of her job is getting new patients to understand the renal diet. “When a patient feels they understand the diet and adjusts to their diet restriction, that’s when I get my reward,” she says. Offering a sympathetic ear and attitude can make a big difference to a patient. “I make a difference in patients’ lives by being sympathetic to their needs,” Odila adds.

I enjoy seeing patients succeed in adjusting to their new lifestyle. My approach is caring and sympathetic. Patients know when a person is sincere.” 

Patients can do many things to improve their health such as being proactive with self-education and asking questions during any visit with a healthcare professional so they are sure they’ve understood all the information being offered. “The single most important thing patients can do to improve their health isto be involved in their health status,” Odila advises. “And ask lots of questions,” she adds. 

Games and activities are often utilized at DaVita centers as a way of engaging patients, getting them to interact in friendly competition, and stimulating them with a new, fun approach. Odila’s center is no different. She stresses, “Patients enjoy playing Phosphorus Bingo.” Over sixteen years of working with DaVita has enabled Odila to really see firsthand what works and what doesn’t. “I truly appreciate the support one gets from the unity exhibited by local and area dietitians. DaVita is constantly evolving,” she comments. 

Although patients can and do encounter challenges, they express their appreciation for the staff members who help them in many ways. Odila relates that recently the patients at the San Antonio center decided to honor all teammates by doing a cookout. They prepared various foods, and a good time was had by all. The center, which serves the south side of town, and provides services for HD, PD and HHD, was totally remodeled and new teammates were brought onboard.“ We are finally coming together as one cohesive group,” Odila says. 

If you’re a newcomer to the flavors of the southwest, or an “old hand” at this style of regional cooking, you will appreciate the care put into modifying this recipe so that it’s kidney-friendly while retaining all the abundant taste and texture of Tex-Mex.

Southwestern Style Stuffed Bell Peppers serve four and make a complete meal on their own, or can be paired with sides and veggies to satisfy a hearty appetite. Freeze them individually and pop into the microwave for a quick meal, ready fast!


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