Friday, July 12, 2013

Simple But Impressive Stuffed Peppers

I used to believe that stuffing a pepper (or mushroom, or squash) was a waste of time. And pretentious. Why bother with something that takes extra time and looks so ridiculous? Yet recently I have changed my tune.

I have come to believe that stuffing a pepper makes an easy meal look more impressive than it is. It's so easy to do. First, turn the oven on and cut some peppers in half. Put them into the roasting dish and into the oven while it heats. Meanwhile, scramble fry some meat and vegetables. Then pour the mixture into the hot peppers; top with cheese. Return the peppers to the oven to melt the cheese and voila! Impressive dinner!

Another thing I like about stuffed peppers is that I can "trick" my husband into eating a meal with no starchy carbohydrates. He's so taken with the little bubbling, cheesy pepper parcels that he doesn't seem to realise that there is no rice in the filling. To make this into a full meal I add a hearty salad or more cooked vegetables; perhaps bacon-fried greens or homemade caesar salad.

Stuffed Peppers
allow at least 2 halves per person as a main dish

This is more of a recipe outline than an actual recipe. You need 1/3 to 1/2 c (80 to 125 ml) of "stuff" to stuff a pepper.

peppers: as many as people eating
2 T mild olive oil
100 to 200 g ground beef, pork, or turkey
finely chopped or grated vegetables, for example: carrot, cauliflower, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes
1/4 c (25 g) grated cheese

Turn the oven on to 350 F (180 C).
Clean and prepare the peppers. Cut them in half and place in a baking dish, cut side up. Put in the oven to soften while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
Add the ground meat and scramble fry.
Add the vegetables, mix well, and cook until softened.

Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the meat mixture into them.
Top with the cheese.
Return to the oven until the cheese is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

What is your easy but impressive dinner idea?
Have you ever stuffed a pepper?

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