Sunday, March 16, 2008

Eat Your Veggies: Stuffed Peppers!

A couple of weeks ago, I sent my husband to Costco to search for a bag of cute little baby sweet peppers. Someone had told me about them: miniature red, orange and yellow bell peppers in a bag for $5! As you can see in the above photo, they are gorgeous. I love peppers, and they are an excellent source of nutrition. I got them to use in my salads, to dip in hummus, and to use in chili and spaghetti sauce. But I still had leftover baby peppers to use up. What to do?

I set about finding and modifying a good, healthy, low fat recipe for one of my favorite foods: stuffed peppers. The end result was not only beautiful, but also delicious! And so I present to you a recipe that I hope you will love as much as I did! If you don't have baby peppers, that's okay. You can make this filling and use it to stuff 4 nice big red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers. I think it would also be great as a stuffing for zucchini (halved, with the seeds scraped out). These peppers make great leftovers warmed in the microwave and they also freeze well. 1/4 recipe = about 240 calories. Enjoy!

Veggie Stuffed Peppers

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 turkey Italian sausage link, skin removed (optional but I love the flavor)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped small
1 1/2 c fresh spinach, chopped

Brown the ground turkey and sausage in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Season with about 2 tsp basil and 2 tsp oregano (or use Italian seasoning), a few shakes of black pepper, a pinch or more (to taste) of red pepper flakes, and a good shake of garlic powder. I also like to add about a tsp of beef bouillon granules. Be generous with your seasonings so you don't get a bland stuffing. Set aside the browned meat.

Spray another pan with cooking spray and add the onions, mushrooms, and zucchini. Saute them until tender, then add the spinach and cook until wilted. (You could include other veggies in this filling if you like, such as tomatoes or chopped peppers). Add 1 - 2 T tomato paste and stir the meat into the mixture. TASTE it and add seasonings if needed. I definitely had to add some salt!

This is your basic stuffing. I halved the baby peppers and cored them to stuff them, but you can just cut the tops off bigger peppers, core them and stuff them that way. If you like your peppers very soft, you can steam them for 5 minutes BEFORE you stuff them. I just stuffed mine raw. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the stuffed peppers with a little Parmesan cheese (or other cheese)... this is optional but I like the Parmesan. Now if you like, you can pour tomato soup or sauce around the peppers in the pan. I used a half can of Campbell's tomato soup diluted with a half can of water and poured that around them. Cover the peppers tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. YUMMY. Now go eat your veggies!


Anonymous said...

Those peppers look amazing! Will be trying that out for sure. Peppers here in Sk Canada are alot more expensive than that though - might have to check out Costco though - sometimes they surprise me here. Take care and thanks for sharing.

Dev said...

This looks yummy! I'll be trying this for sure!

Vickie said...

A friend and I have been making a list of NON-carb foods to use in place of crackers and bread and wraps. Your mini peppers are good to add to this list. The others we have so far:
RAW sliced cucumber, sweet potato for things you would nornally put on a cracker

steamed lettuce or cabbage leaves (GREAT for rolling egg rolls or tacos)

zuchini - sliced long ways and a little of the core cut out - they make great "boats" and work well in place of a potato skin type food in the oven

Dottie said...

I'm not a fan of peppers, but I just might try this because I need to learn to like the veggies! Thanks for stopping by my blog for a visit. I'll be back too!

Anonymous said...

Lyn, those sound awesome. I would love to try them!

barbra brusk said...


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Chubby Chick said...

Thanks for the recipe! These look great!