Wednesday, November 3, 2010

American Style Healthy Stuffed Peppers

(click picture for larger view)

 The Low Down: Stuffed peppers is a dish which exists in different names and forms around the world. Stuffed peppers in American cuisine is a dish where bell peppers (red and green), are typically filled with a stuffing such as ground beef mixed with breadcrumbs and/or cooked with rice, egg, herbs, spices, (especially paprika and parsley), and cheese. Recipes vary, but often include the following steps: removal of the seeds of the pepper, stuffing them, covering with cheese, and baking the combined filling until the peppers are soft. A sauce may be served with them, often a tomato sauce, but this, too, varies greatly.

Preparation: I decided to be health conscious and utilized ground turkey (instead of ground beef) and brown rice (instead of white rice) as the main ingredients. I started off by cutting off the tops of the peppers, and clean the insides. Next, I mixed the turkey meat with the brown rice that I have prepared beforehand. As the meat and rice are mixed, fresh onion, celery, parsley, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder were added. In a large bowl, everything is generously combined by hand, then I continue to season by eye and taste. Notice, no cheese in this dish.

Next I turn on the oven to 375 to pre-heat. Once my meat and rice mixture is complete, I add it to the hollowed out peppers by spoon. Then, I puree fire roasted tomatoes and cover the stuffed peppers on top, adding a few chunks of tomatoes as a garnish and sprinkle with fresh oregano and basil.

Place the dish in the oven, uncovered. The peppers will remain in the oven for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half.

Food For Thought: Green Jalapeno Tabasco is a great compliment to this dish.

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