I am pretty sure everyone in the free world has had a stuffed bell pepper before and also guess you are in either of two camps. There are those who love them and those who hate them. I have never met a stuffed pepper indifferent person, but maybe there are a few out there. I fall into the love them category It is probably my favorite vegetable. I love them minced and added to everything , love them sauteed with other foods, cooked or raw makes no difference. In fact I have been known to sit at the table with a knife and eat an entire bell pepper like others would eat an apple.
Yesterday Publix had a really good deal on a bag of bell peppers. I got 7 huge peppers for $1.99. There were 5 green and 2 yellow peppers in said bag, but they were very ripe and needed to be eaten in a couple of days. Even pepper loving me can't finish 7 in two days, so I decided to bake a couple of stuffed peppers for supper. We are trying to eat healthier and have many servings of vegetables and fruit daily. I was wondering what to serve with the stuffed peppers to amp up our vegetable intake when I spied my Magic Bullet on the kitchen counter top.
I recently bought one at Bed Bath and Beyond. I had been reading about all kinds of breakfast smoothies, green drinks , and the occasional margarita on blogs and nearly all of them used a Magic Bullet instead of a blender. Now I understand why. The MB is a very powerful blender, chopper, whipper, and ice crusher. It is a one handed operation that processes and is clean in the time it would take to set my regular blender up.
I rummaged through the fridge to see what fresh veggies lived there. It was sparse choice day, since I had only carrots and cauliflower in the crisper. I grabbed a couple of carrots and loped off about 1/4 of the cauliflower. After a good scrubbing and thorough washing I chopped them in pieces about 1 inch big. In went the carrots and I started the MB. After some serious whirring I had what I fondly call carrot dust. It was not liquified carrots, but instead this very fine dry to the touch carrot bits. It really did look much like carrot colored corn meal. I did the same thing to the cauliflower and mixed them both together in a bowl. I put them aside and put 1/4 cup of quinoa in a bowl. I added 1 cup of very hot tap water to it and let is sit for about 30 minutes. I found about 2/3 of a cup of ground turkey in the freezer and had already taken it out and defrosted it. I mixed the turkey and the powdered veggies together in a bowl and then strained the water off the quinoa. I added the quinoa to the meat veggie mix, 1/2 of a small onion, diced and added 1 heaping teaspoon of Penzy's Bangkok seasoning. ( Only reason that seasoning was used was because it was the first one I saw when I looked in the spice cabinet. When it was well mixed I added about 3 tablespoons of veggie broth and stirred until everything was blended. I cut the tops off 2 peppers and quickly cored and seeded them. They were stuffed to overflowing and set in an oven proof baking dish in a 350 degree oven. I covered them tightly with foil. Since the quinoa was uncooked I figured the moisture in the mix with the foil cover would steam the grain nicely. After cooking about 30-35 minutes it was ready to eat. We had one full veggie serving with the pepper alone and another full serving in the stuffing. After I took them out of the oven we put a little ketchup on top and added a large green salad to the meal. ( Cha-ching! Another vegetable serving!)
It is something I will do again. It was light and very tasty, but we could taste neither the carrots nor the cauliflower. I guess the pepper flavor was intense enough to overpower the other vegetables. Who knows? Next time I might used grated zucchini or even fine ribbons of kale. Guess I will just have to wait until I am actually doing it and see what I have on hand.
In the meantime I have a few peppers and a new food dehydrator screaming to be used. I am going to try my hand at drying some peppers to toss in soups and casseroles this winter.
I think I am feeling kind of like a mad scientist now.
p.s. Please ignore the ketchup made with high fructose corn syrup on top of the pepper. It hardly qualifies as "real food". I only have about 1/4 cup left in the bottle and then we are switching to an organic ketchup made with cane sugar instead.
Or I might try my had at making my own before the tomato crop is gone. Who knows?
Oh and one other quick thing. Take 1 cup of cottage cheese and top it with 3 sliced green onions, 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper and 1 small can of drained pineapple tidbits. Stir together for a delicious quick lunch. And yes, I know it sounds gross but give it a try. It is really good