Every Tuesday, a group of friends and I rotate houses and cook dinner for the entire group. This week was my turn and I wanted to do something healthy yet fulfilling. The group is evenly divided between 4 men and 4 women. Majority of the group is fairly active with a healthy appetite and we also have some food allergies (gluten, shellfish) and some aversions (peanuts, salmon, etc) and some lifestyle choices (vegan). So needless to say, it can make dinner preparation a bit intimidating. I scoured through a ton of cookbooks and then got the idea of making Stuffed Peppers. To be honest, I’ve only had them once and my stepmom makes them with fish, rice, saffron, and veggies, but I wanted to spice things up a notch. So I decided to make Zesty Stuffed Pepper with influences from Spanish & Hispanic cultures.
I started off with 8 green bell peppers that I rinsed, cut, and de-seeded and lined them in a baking dish. I browned 1 pound of lean ground turkey that I seasoned with cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic, onion, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes, adobo, and tomato paste. I then made brown rice that I flavored with chicken stock (the Vegan did not attend this dinner) and then corn, kidney beans, peas, and carrots. I combined the rice and the meat mixture and let them marinate a bit. I added a few tablespoons of roasted garlic salsa to the mixture and let that simmer until all of the liquids soaked in. I stuffed the peppers and topped with shredded cheese and baked (covered) at 375 for 65 minutes. To add some additional flavor, I blended a 8 oz of light sour cream and 4 oz of the roasted garlic salsa into a saucepan and added a touch more of the low fat shredded cheese to the pan. It melted into a creamy sauce that I could spoon over the peppers for a nice and tasty topping.
All together, the dish came out flavorful and filling, but it was also a healthy option and we all got a great helping of protein, fiber, and veggies. Although Tuesday night was great, leftovers for lunch on Wednesday were even better! I’d definitely say to get creative with stuffing peppers this summer! They are in season and makes it an easy dish to serve and eat!