Growing up there was always that one thing my mom made that was the ultimate comfort food – stuffed peppers. I don’t know if I loved them because they were cheesy, colorful or warm and hearty, but I always got excited when I saw her pull out the peppers and the boxed spanish rice. I’ve adapted her recipe a bit (I don’t use the boxed rice, I substitute brown rice for white and I use ground turkey instead of ground beef.) Don’t get me wrong mom’s way was great, but I wanted to make it a bit healthier.
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile. Want to go meatless? Add crumbled tofu seasoned with taco seasoning, squash or potatoes. Don’t want the carbs? Add some leafy greens to the seasoned turkey. Want something different? Try quinoa instead of rice. Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy it!
Stuffed Bell Peppers (Serves 4)
4 bell peppers (any combo of colors, green are less sweet)
1 lb. ground turkey
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped white onion
3 small cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 packet taco seasoning
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a mexican blend)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1. Wash the bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise. Remove the stems, seeds and as much of the white parts of the peppers as you can.
2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat to a medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until they are translucent.
3. Add the turkey and crumble with a large spoon. Sprinkle the turkey with the taco seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown turkey.
4. Add the canned tomatoes,corn and rice stir until combined.
5. Add the tomato paste, stir until combined. Mix 1 cup of the cheese into the mixture.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the peppers and blanch. Boil the peppers for 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of the pepper. Remove and rinse with cold water. Let the peppers dry (or pat with a paper towel.)
8. Place the peppers on a baking sheet, sprayed with baking spray.9. Using a spoon, scoop the meat and rice mixture into each pepper. Make sure you press the mixture into the corners of the peppers. (You will make a mess!)
10. Place the peppers into the pre heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
11. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.