Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers
2 tomatoes (any kind, cherry tomatoes work well too)
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbs of olive oil
1 pd of ground beef (or ground turkey) [Normally I use Trader Joe’s beef-less ground beef because my boyfriend is vegetarian. But, since I’m Paleo-ing and meat substitute products are not allowed, we made half real meat and half fake meat this time.]
1/2-3/4 cup of canned tomato pasta sauce (you can substitute tomato juice too, but seriously, who drinks tomato juice. Am I right?)
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Oregano (and any other Italian spices you have handy) to taste.
1 cup (or more) of shredded mozzarella (or whatever other delicious cheese you have in your fridge).
Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Start boiling a large pot of water. Saute the diced onions until soft. Then add in the minced garlic.
Once the garlic gets soft, add in the ground beef and tomato sauce. Break up the ground beef (or meat substitute) and cook thoroughly on med-high heat. [When using a meat substitute, cook it on lower heat because it dries out quickly.]
One of the above pictures is the fake meat and the other is the real meat. Can you guess which one is which?
Stir in the chopped tomatoes and all of your spices after the meat is almost done cooking. Cover and simmer on low heat.
Next, add your bell pepper shells to the pot of boiling water. [Use a small paring knife to cut around the stem to get out most of the seeds. I just use my hands to get out the rest of the white/fleshy seed stuff to get a clean shell.]
Remove after about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool for a minute or so.
And here’s where it gets crazy. Generously
sprinklecoat the bottom of the bell pepper with cheese BEFORE you begin to stuff it with the ground beef mixture. Then after you’re done piling in the yummy filling, add MORE shredded cheese to the top. I really pack it in so that you get a solid layer of cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes. [Don’t forget to turn off your stove - I didn’t even realize mine was still on the other night because you could barely see the flame since it was on so low during the simmering stage. Luckily my boyfriend has a keen eye. Good thing I have renter’s insurance for the times he’s not around.]
Of course, since I’m Paleo-ing, no cheese for me. But, the bell peppers are still delicious even without it. They also reheat really well, so don’t worry about making too many!