Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

I accidentally ate burgers for dinner all weekend. Stand 4 and 5 Napkin Burger. In my opinion, Stand 4 was out of this world. 5 Napkin...just okay. See. I have no control around medium rare burgers and blue cheese. Or milkshakes. No control around those either. After playing some tennis over the weekend, I decided that I wanted something more hearty than salad leaves, but still hom nommy for my weekday meal. 

Back in the day when I was trying to lose my Freshman 15 25, I remembered I made a recipe with stuffed peppers that included turkey, instead of beef (leaner meat/fewer calories?). I remember this dish always kept me full, but didn't make me bored as salads sometimes do when I eat enough of them during the week. Since I had a few ingredients around my pantry to whip these up, I decided to get some peppers and turkey and try free handing a recipe. 

Vegetarian friends, never fear...I have seen Ives meatless ground rounds that you can sub in for the ground turkey! I don't know how tasty they are, but you could swap it in. 

You could also probably swap out the brown rice I used in this recipe with quinoa. I thought to do that, but had enough quinoa last week and also wanted to use up some rice I've had in my fridge. 

Smoking hot. No, really. All you need is one fork prong tap of this stuff and your dish will have a KICK. Ouch! I added in some cinnamon to subdue the heat.

I love all kinds of Trader Joe's greens. I decided to throw in my newest obsession, the Southern Greens mix, in with the turkey and onions.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers, A Hom Nom Original!

Serves 3

  • 3 red bell peppers, tops and seeds removed, and parboiled
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of the Southern Green Mix from Trader Joe's, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 14 ounce can low sodium diced tomatoes (try and get low sodium - the normal can has an astronomical amount of sodium in it!)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tiny pinch chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 2 tbsp. feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil or a silpat.

Prepare the rice according to the package. It will probably take about 20-25 minutes to cook. You will also need to par boil your bell peppers. Once my rice was finished, I used the same pot, filled it up with water, let it boil, and put my peppers in for about 5 minutes. 

While the rice cooks, prepare the ground turkey filling. In a medium sautee pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and the southern green mix and cook until the onions are slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant (don't burn it!). Add the tomato paste to the garlic/red onion/southern greens and stir for a few minutes. Add in the ground turkey and let it brown while stirring occasionally. Add in the diced tomatoes, cinnamon, salt, and chili and/or cayenne pepper. The pepper I have at home is eye-burning hot, so I used it very sparingly. If yours isn't as hot, you can add more. Stir everything together to combine. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is less watery. Add the rice and stir again, letting the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Stir in about 2 tbsp. of feta cheese to finish.

Spoon the mixture into your par boiled peppers. You may have some leftover filling left. Place onto your silpat and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the tops of the peppers with the stuffing are slightly browned. 

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