Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stuffed Peppers #Recipe

In the last year, I’ve learned so much about myself since meeting Vlada (founder and owner of Cooking and Kids). I was introduced to her by a mutual friend of ours who said we have a lot in common. That we do!! She has a heart to help solve the American obesity epidemic by sharing the value of good nutrition and understands true networking. She is an awesome chef! I’ve learned a few recipes from watching her live (see stuffed shells) and also on YouTube. The most recent video I watched was “How To Make Stuffed Peppers”. (Be sure to check her video out for the original recipe.)

Before I share my rendition, let me explain further what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve learned that it’s okay to experiment in the kitchen and go with your gut when substituting ingredients. Sometimes it’s just a trial and error kind of relationship you verses the recipe or simply needing more practice. I have a lot to learn – such as fine tuning my knife skills, understanding flavor combinations and seasoning. Below is my rendition.

15-20 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to bake.

Ingredients: 
3 large bell peppers (serves 6 – watch your portion sizes)
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup of shredded carrots
½ cup of zucchini
2 tsp of minced garlic
½ cup of fresh baby spinach


1 lb grass fed beef
1 egg
Water
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: brown rice, precooked

Directions:
Heat oven to 360 degrees. Sauté onion with EVOO until translucent. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add minced garlic. I added panko bread crumbs because I didn’t have any mushrooms that the original recipe called for to maintain moisture when roasting. (I know with breadcrumbs in meatloaves that this works great.) Add beef and brown tossing it with the veggies. Add spinach. (I added this to pack more nutritional power and give it more color.) Remove from heat and add 1 egg. Stir until evenly coated. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut stems out of the peppers. Remove seeds. STUFF the peppers with the meat mixture.

Water down your favorite tomato sauce and use this as a base in your dish (or substitute your favorite sauce). Place stuffed peppers in bake ware and make sure the sauce covers ¼ of the way up from the bottom of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes covered.

I made this dish at 8:30p and it was done an hour later. I forgot to add the precooked rice to the beef mixture but the peppers with the veggie laden beef was plenty (especially with such a late dinner!).

The next day for leftovers, I cooked some brown rice to boot and sprinkled feta cheese on top. Ah-mazing!  Thank you Vlada for inspiring novice chefs like me!!

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