My husband’s favorite meal is stuffed peppers. I am sure he loves the classic stuffed pepper made with ground beef and ketchup that maybe his mom and grandma made, well that is too predictable for me. I need to mix it up a bit and add my own twists. As I go through this recipe I will give you some hints on how to make it your own. The kitchen should be where you can have fun. Don’t be afraid of swaying from a recipe or substituting ingredients. Being creative in the kitchen can be fun and you learn to adapt and overcome obstacles.
I am going to tell you what I used for tonight and what you could substitute. Now if you are thinking Greek lamb should come to mind and you can certainly use ground lamb. I am using ground turkey instead. Peppers…I am using a yellow, red and 2 green peppers. I have read that green peppers take a little longer to cook but I have always mixed the colors and enjoyed the different textures. If you want them to be all the same texture then use either all green or all colored (except green). I am going to use brown rice in my recipe but for a real Greek inspired dish use orzo. I just didn’t have any on hand.
4-5 Bell Peppers (colors your choice)
1/2 pound ground turkey (optional if want vegetarian)
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
4 teaspoons basil
16 oz bag of spinach (I didn’t have spinach on hand so I substituted kale)
1 roma tomato diced
1/2- 1 lemon, juiced
12 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used the one seasoned already with basil and oregano)
1 1/2 cups Feta cheese
Salt and Pepper
If you are using brown rice start that first following package directions as it takes about 40-50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off your peppers and wash out the seeds and ribs. You can either keep the tops to put back onto your peppers after you stuff them or chop them up and put into your stuffing. TIP: If I am putting some into my stuffing I freeze the rest of the chopped peppers for another use. Rub olive oil and the outside of the pepper and season with salt and pepper. Place in casserole/ baking dish.
Heat about 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium- high heat in pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add your ground turkey and seasonings. When cooked take out of pan.
Add a little more olive oil and add spinach (or whatever green you are using- remember it cooks down so it may look like a lot at first). Your just want to wilt the greens then add your diced tomato, add some salt and pepper. Sauté about another 1-2 minutes then remove and add to your meat mix.
In the same pan, add your cooked rice and the lemon juice to your taste. Turn off the heat and return your meat and greens mix to the pan and thoroughly mix with the rice. Add your Feta Cheese and stir.
Stuff the Peppers, add the ‘hat’ tops if using. The canned seasoned tomatoes can go around the bottom of the peppers in the dish. Place in oven for about 35-45 minutes. It depends on what color peppers you are using and how done you like the pepper. I just feel the outside to see when it is a little soft…in the pasta world I would say it is al dente.