Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

*Updated June 2013

I love this recipe because it's so easy to tweak the recipe to just a little to completely alter the flavours of the dish.  This is the basic recipe, the one that I started with.  Perfect for a cold night, keeps well, travels well and tastes delicious!  I've based the number of peppers on a four person serving of 1 pepper per person.  There will be leftover stuffing, so you could definitely add another pepper or two.

Ingredients

4 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow)
1 cup rice
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (chicken or turkey work well too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen vegetables (mix of peas, carrots and corn)
1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese (optional)
1 jar tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 400F

Directions

1- Cut tops off peppers.  Trim bottoms so that peppers stand alone, but avoid making large holes in the bottom. Place peppers in a casserole dish.
2- Cook rice according to package instructions.  For more flavour, cook in a gluten free vegetable of beef broth instead of plain water.  Remove from heat and put aside.
3- In a large frying pan, cook ground meat over medium-high heat until cooked through.  Add minced garlic and frozen vegetables and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat and stir in rice.  Mix to combine.
4- Fill peppers with rice mixture.  Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 until peppers begin to wrinkle and look cooked through. Put aside extra stuffing for another meal or stuff extra peppers to freeze.
5- Remove foil and ladle tomato sauce over peppers.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Return to oven uncovered until cheese bubbles.
6- Serve peppers with side vegetables or a salad.

Tips
- To freeze peppers for later, freeze stuffed, but before baking in the oven.  Cook from frozen.
- To use as a side dish, cut peppers in half and lie them on their sides in the baking dish.  Fill halves and serve as a side dish.
-For BBQ peppers, stir in BBQ sauce while cooking meat and omit tomato sauce.
-Vegetarian: omit meat and use lentils instead.

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