Stuffed Peppers

I was a very lucky child who grew up with a mother and a grandmother that knew how to cook food straight out of the garden. Of course I didn’t necessarily appreciate it back then, but now as a mom and fitness fan I know without a doubt that much of how I think about food and cooking comes from them. Like these peppers…

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Now my version isn’t quite like my mom’s or my grandma’s. Theirs are full of white rice and ground beef. Mine have turkey and quinoa. Little changes, yes, but with good and healthful intentions. The heart and soul of the recipe is intact… as well as all the love from their gardens.

The best time to make stuffed peppers is in very late summer, I believe, when the market or garden is overflowing with ripe tomatoes and perfectly green peppers. Those giant peppers can be halved or just chop off the top and fill one up. I like to roast some Roma tomatoes to include in my sauce but you can just use a canned variety. The sweetness of those roasted tomatoes, though!!

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Don’t forget to blanch your peppers before you fill them – that way they’ll stay picture perfect green when they bake!

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Here’s the full recipe!!

Saute until tender:

1 onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

Add:

1 lb. ground turkey

Cook until no longer pink.

Add:

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp thyme

1 1/2 c crushed tomatoes (most of a large can – reserve the rest)

4-6 roasted Roma tomatoes, chopped (or 1 small can diced tomatoes

Let simmer 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile…

Blanch 6-8 med/large green peppers.

Cook 1/2 c wild rice or quinoa (or do a combo!) Add this to sauce when done.

Prepare large baking dish with cooking spray and then add remainder of crushed tomatoes. Place peppers in the pan and fill with sauce mixture. Leftover sauce can be added around peppers. Pour about 1/2 can reduced sodium beef broth around pan. Cover and bake at 350 for one hour.

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I hope you enjoy this take on a classic recipe. This is the kind of dish that tastes better after a day or two. I like to make on the weekend as part of my food prep. You can make ahead and then bake later, as well. Enjoy!!

 

 

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