Sunday, January 26, 2014

Back to Basics 17 - Stuffed Peppers

There are a ton of stuffed pepper recipes out there, and that's the beauty of stuffing peppers, mushrooms or tomatoes. You can stuff them with anything you want. This is a pretty basic one using just a few ingredients and a very secret one. Keep reading and you'll see!

-4 large green bell peppers. The ones I found were HUGE.
-1 1/2 teaspoons of canola oil
-1 onion, chopped
-1 clove of garlic, minced

-5 cups of mixed mushrooms, minced (I minced mine in the food processor)

-1lb ground turkey, I use 93% lean
-1 1/2 cups of cooked rice. Make sure you're not measuring 1 1/2 cups of DRY rice and then cooking it up. For my quick cooking rice, I used about 1 cup of dry rice to make 1 1/2 cups of cooked. If you want a recipe on making fluffy brown rice, click here.
-1 8oz can tomato sauce (about 1 cup)
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, or more to taste

-Preheat oven to 350F
-Grab your biggest pot, place the peppers in there to make sure they will fit. You don't want to boil water in the pot only to find out you can't fit all the peppers. If you don't have a pot big enough, just do them in batches.

-Fill your pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
-Cut out the stem ends of the peppers and throw it out, or if you want to keep them to top the peppers later for presentation that's fine.

-Scoop out the seeds.

-Once your water is boiling, place your peppers in there for about 1 minute. This will blanch them so they are a little tender. You could bake them in the oven before filling them but this is easier. Drain them into the sink and then cool them under cold running water. Then place them on some paper towels.

-Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add a little bit of salt and pepper.

-Add your minced mushrooms...and this is the secret ingredient!! Ok so this is the beauty of adding mushrooms, they are chopped up so fine that people who don't like mushrooms won't even notice them, making this a great trick for getting more veggies in your kids. It also bulks up the filling so you can use less meat which means LESS CALORIES! It also tastes sooooo good! Seriously, it adds a depth of flavor that you wouldn't have with just meat. This would also be great INSTEAD of meat if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
-Cook them for about 8-10 minutes until they release all their juice.

-Add turkey, mash the entire mixture with a potato masher. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until it's no longer pink.

-Do you see what I mean about secret? You can't even tell there are mushrooms in there!

-Add brown rice, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, parsley, salt and pepper.

-Mix it all together.

-Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place them in a big oven-safe dish.

-Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over them.

-This is optional but if you want, top them with a little bit of Parmigiano and then drizzle with olive oil.

-Bake them for about 35 minutes, until golden on top.

4 servings: One pepper each.
Nutritional Info: 307 calories, 10g fat, 2g saturated fat, 1g mono, 65mg cholesterol, 31g carbs, 26g protein, 6g fiber, 385mg sodium, 588mg potassium

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