Stuffed Bell Peppers

Posted on October 29, 2009. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

Bell peppers are one of my favorite vegetables. I use bell pepper in everything from sandwiches and salads to spaghetti sauce and scrambled eggs. High in vitamin C and sweet on flavor the bell pepper is  nutritious, versatile and pleasing to the eye in its various colors. So why not make a whole meal out of a bell pepper!

I start by boiling some grain. I used to use Brown Rice but now I use a mix of Pearl Barley and Rye. I use about 1 cup, cooked, of this mixture per 1 lb of ground beef. I use about 2 and 1/2 cups of water per cup of grain and mix the barley and rye 50/50. Barley and Rye are both better grains for diabetics than rice.

While the grain is cooking I start mixing up the meat.

1lb of 93% lean ground beef is my starting point. I mix in one egg, 1 can of Tomato Paste, and about 1/4 cup of Oat Bran.

I season it with about a 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1/4 tsp of Cayenne, 1 tsp of Italian seasoning and 1/2 tsp of Oregano. (You may need to adjust the seasonings to your liking). I finely chopped about 1/3 of a small onion yielding about 2/3 of a cup, and then minced 3-4 cloves of garlic and added all that to the meat. I chopped up two small baby bella mushrooms and threw that in. Now I thoroughly mixed it all up.

While the grain is still boiling I  got out my 6 Bell Peppers. I had two Red and 4 Green and have used Orange and Yellow Peppers before too, I cut the tops off and took out the seeds and veins.

By this time the grain was done so I took out 1 cup of cooked Rye/Barley and stirred it into the meat and veggie mix, setting aside the remainder of the grain for another meal later in the week.

I now proceeded to stuff the peppers in this fashion: in the bottom of each pepper I laid two slices of pepperoni and 1 cheese cube (colby jack) then a layer of the meat/veggie mix. I repeated this 2 more times, or as much as the individual peppers could hold. I finished each pepper by topping off with two pepperoni slices.

I placed the 6 peppers in a baking dish with about a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom and baked uncovered for 1 hr at 350.

NOTE: most stuffed pepper recipes call for blanching the peppers in boiling water for a few minutes and cooking the meat in a skillet first. I think my way is easier and just as good. The peppers come out just fine with still a tad bit of crispness and the meat is thoroughly cooked. I will sometimes top the peppers with a slice of cheese after I get them out of the oven but this time I cooked the cheese cubes inside the meat mix. The pepperoni I had left over from a homemade pizza last week so it needed to be used…and that really made these peppers something special.

These peppers were kind of on the large side so you could basically look at each pepper as a complete meal, though we are still eating on a pot of bean soup we made Sunday, so we had some bean soup on the side.

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Making these tonight! 🙂


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