Bell pepper plants love cooler temperatures. I tried growing several over the summer, but they just didn’t produce. Now that fall has arrived, I have so many growing, I had to decide what to do with them. Stuffed bell peppers make a wonderful and healthy dinner choice.
There are several recipes for creating a tasty stuffing, but I like the simplest ones because they are time-saving, good for you, and delicious; the Trifecta of cooking.
The health benefits of bell peppers are amazing. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, thiamine, B6, and carotene. Because of their high Vit. C and carotene content, they are a wonderful antioxidant. Red bell peppers contain an extra goodie by way of their lycopene content which has been shown to help fight cancer and heart disease. Their nutrient content is higher than that of the green bell peppers. So when you decide to cook up a batch of stuffed peppers, you can mix it up by having both red and green peppers.
What you’ll need:
- 6 green/red peppers
- 1 pound of organic ground beef (grass fed Angus, venison, or buffalo)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock
- ½ teaspoon of thyme, rosemary and oregano (either fresh or dried)
- 2 cups of white or brown rice depending on preference (quinoa works well, too, and you can mix it half rice/half quinoa for additional nutritional impact.
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan or cheddar cheese
Directions: Carefully remove stems from peppers. Slice them in half lengthwise and remove all seeds. Brown the meat in a non-stick skillet (make sure it’s it’s large and deep) until it’s cooked through and finely crumbled. Add your onion, tomato paste, beef broth, and the herbs.
Bring mix to a boil, and then cook down until the liquid has reduced by almost one half. Stir in the rice (and pine nuts), and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The rice will cook up in the oven inside the pepper halves.)
Take your bell pepper halves and set them in a buttered glass baking dish. Fill each with the stuffing mix and top with cheese. Place extra meat and rice mix around the peppers inside the dish. Bake for about one hour at 350 degrees.
For those who like to get a little fancy, you can also add Italian seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs on top of the cheese.
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M. Gwynn has authored two books, Harvest and The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer on Amazon.com . Ms. Gwynn also writes for National Animal Rights and San Antonio Sex & Relationships for quadrust.com. She contributes to Open Salon on Salon.com and FashionErotica Magazine NY.
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