It's Valentine's Day! Happy anniversary of the beheading of a civil liberties champion, and happy day after Washington State signed their gay marriage bill into law! A good couple of days all around, methinks. Seven states down, 43 to go. I try to focus on the positive- seven states! Rather than the negative- 43 still to go? Seriously? Isn't it 2012?
But anyhow, this post isn't about passing common-sense bills come on people seriously, it's about stuffed peppers! Which are similar to marriage in that they intertwine wonderful things to make a unified whole. Or, um, something. It's a stretch, I'll give you that, but my normally non-dairy self just had some chocolate, so I'm a little hyped up.
ANYHOW, even if you aren't a huge fan of bell peppers, these are really tasty! Plus the bell pepper cooks so that it turns fairly soft, so if it's the big watery crunch that you dislike you don't have to worry about that with these. Note that this recipe makes a lot, so half it if you need to.
8 green bell peppers, cored and emptied of seeds and such, like so:
1 20 oz. package lean ground Italian turkey
1-2 TBSPs. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 cup cooked rice (I cook mine in chicken broth instead of water)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (Italian or sweet onion)
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1-2 tsps. chili powder
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly coat a baking pan or glass baking dish in cooking spray; set aside.
Boil a large pot of water, throw cored and mostly cleaned out bell peppers in the boiling water for 7-10 minutes until soft but not soggy. When done, remove and invert on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
While the peppers are cooking, heat 1 TBSP. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 30 more seconds. Add the ground turkey, and cook until no longer pink, about 5 or so minutes. Add the tomatoes, rice, Italian seasoning, chili powder, and salt and pepper, stir, bring to a boil, and then let simmer on low-medium 5-10 minutes. The liquid should reduce some.
Stand the bell peppers up in the baking dish and stuff with turkey mixture, about 3 big spoonfuls per pepper. Sprinkle peppers with breadcrumbs, then spritz with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Each pepper will end up having about 230 calories, so it's perfectly acceptable to eat 2 of them!
I will say that Joseph and I agreed that there was a little something missing from the peppers, so next time I make them I'll mix some pepperjack cheese in with the ones I make for him. I put a little ketchup on mine and it was perfecto, so that's the ticket if you're a ketchup fellow like myself. I'm pretty sure that using a higher fat ground beef would probably do the trick as well.
Oh! And if you don't have an olive oil spritzer, get one! My vonderful seester recommended I buy one, and I use it all the time now. I have this inexpensive little guy: Misto Gourmet Spritzer. It's so much easier to control than attempting to drizzle the oil, and it is especially useful on salads.
So there you have it! Stuff your heart with love and your peppers with tomato-y turkey goodness, and we'll rendezvous tomorrow. I adore you all!