Friday, October 8, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers & Week's Menu Plan

Stuffed bell peppers was one of the first meals I ever made...actually, it was the first meal I ever remade, straying from the exact recipe and making my own changes to make the dish healthier.  Although most of my changes are now forgotten, I do remember one as switching from a combination of ground pork and ground beef to lean ground turkey (ground beef could work but just try to make it at least 90% lean).  I have no idea where the recipe was originally from but on the index card, I have the title as "Big John's Stuffed Bell Peppers."  Maybe Big John wouldn't be so big if he had made some of these updates! It's delicious as a one-dish meal and is a recipe that I keep coming back to. It's especially good now that bell peppers are in season here.

As I was making my farmers market grocery list for this coming week's meal plans, I realized that I'm using just about every vegetable that our market offers. While I didn't do it on purpose, I'm happy to fully take advantage of having such a variety of fresh vegetables while I can!

Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 6
  • 6 bell peppers, tops removed and ribs and seeds removed (any color but our favorite is red)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • leftover bell peppers tops, diced 
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme 
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 3/4-1 lb. ground turkey, 93% lean (you could also use lean ground beef)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup marinara sauce 
  • cheese, if desired (we often grate a bit of mozzarella cheese on top) 
-Make sure to cook brown rice beforehand. 
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-In a large pot of boiling water, boil prepped bell peppers for 5-7 minutes until peppers are fairly soft.  Drain on paper towels and then put peppers in 9 by 13 baking dish.  Add water to the bottom of the baking dish until the bottom of the dish is barely covered.
-While bell peppers are in boiling water, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and cook garlic, onions and peppers tops until soft, 5-7 minutes.
-Add ground turkey, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Cook until brown and all pink is gone, about 5 minutes.   Drain off extra grease.
-Add brown rice and marinara sauce.  Combine and remove from heat.
-Spoon mixture into bell peppers.  Cook for approximately 15 minutes.  Add grated cheese, if desired, on top and cook for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
-Serve with additional marinara sauce.

Week's Menu Plan

Saturday: Spicy Chicken Avocado Sandwich with steamed artichokes

Sunday: Ratatouille

Monday: Chicken Piccata with summer Vegetables

Tuesday: Italian wedding soup

Wednesday: Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce (served with steamed broccoli)

Thursday: Bryant makes dinner!

Friday: steak fajitas (pear butterscotch pie for dessert)

Saturday:  Chicken, Apple & Cheese Quesadillas

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