Like most of my recipes, this calls for a few main ingredients and the rest is adaptable to suit your budget, timeframe, tastes, and imagination. In the future I think I’ll break this down into individual recipes, but for now, I’m lazy.
Depending on where you are in the world, capsicums (bell peppers) can be cheap or expensive. I’ve found if you can find them in jars, you get a lot more for your money and they take less cooking.
Bell peppers (Red is best, but you can use other colours too)
There’s a bunch of possible combinations, but here’s some of the ones that I like:
Spinach, Quinoa, Basil, Tinned tomatoes, Veggie Stock, Garlic, and Onion
Roast Pumpkin, Cashew nuts, Spinach
Cooked Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot,
Garlic and Onion
with Veggie stock, soy sauce, a splash of sweet chilli, and Mashed beans (optional)
Brown rice, Kidney beans, Tinned tomatoes, Corn, Celery, Sweet chilli sauce, Garlic, and Onion
Guacamole - Avocado (smooshed), Lemon Juice, Paprika, Salt, (optionally you can add fresh chopped tomato, grated carrot and cucumber) stirred together
Basil pesto - Fresh basil leaves, cashews/pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds, a sprinkling of brewers yeast, and a splash of oil, blended together
Sweet tomato sauce - Tinned tomatoes, a dollop of barbecue sauce (or a splash of vinegar and a teaspoon of brown sugar), fried onions, and raisins, simmered for a while
If you’re using fresh peppers, slice them in half lengthways and remove the core and seeds. If you’re using jarred ones, just drain them and arrange them on a lined baking tray.
Gather up whatever filling you want to use. Chop up anything that needs chopping. Anything that needs pre cooking, like pumpkin, quinoa, or cauliflower, get that going.
Chop and fry garlic and onions if you’re using them, then add whatever else is going in, stir and and adjust to your tastes, then let it simmer till it’s very thick, add a little cornflour if you need to.
Now, depending on the sauce and your tastes, you might want to include the sauce in the actual peppers, drizzle it over the top, or add it after cooking. That’s up to you. I like to pair anything with beans or rice with guacamole and add the guacamole after cooking, but I like to add the hummus sauce to other fillings before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
Spoon your filling into the peppers. It pays to underfill them a little bit since they tend to leak while cooking. Add sauce if you want to.
Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they go a little bit crispy on top.
Take them out of the oven, add sauce if desired, and eat.
I’ve been writing a series of recipe fics (think songfic, but centered around recipes instead?).
A little ways back, I wrote this fic which involved Wolfgang making his mother’s stuffed pepper recipe for Kala (with my family’s recipe playing this role). Only Kala doesn’t eat meat, so he had to adapt the recipe to be vegetarian. Which meant I had to. I posted the fic with the vegetarian version of the recipe, but said I’d write up the meaty version if asked, so here it is, below the cut.
These hearty Stuffed Peppers are perfect for a quick weeknight meal or for impressing your friends at your first dinner party. Not only do they present really well, but they pack up nice for lunch the next day.
What You’ll Need For Two People:
4 Green Bell Peppers (Look for ones that sit up well)
1 lb lean Ground Turkey (I love using TJ’s Turkey patties as a cheaper substitute. I love the fat to meat ratio of these)
Salt & Pepper
3 Tbsp. EVOO
Dash of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
1 Pack of 3-Minute Brown Rice from TJ’s
Small bunch of Cilantro
1 ½ Cups Tomato Basil Marinara
Handful of sliced White Mushrooms
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
½ Yellow Onion
Enough water to cover peppers by 2-3 inches
Oven-safe container or non-stick pan
What To Do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Wash peppers and slice tops off. Clean out the inside membranes & seeds from the peppers. Put peppers aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the peppers by 2-3 inches.
- Dice the onion, keep aside with sliced mushrooms.
- Lightly oil a large non-stick skillet on high heat. A great way to test if a pan is ready is to slash some water droplets onto the hot surface. If they bubble & dissipate, you’re ready to go.
- Dump in the onions & mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper and turn the heat down to medium to cook them until they’re tender. Put them aside in a bowl.
- Next we’re going to cook the turkey. There’s no need to rinse the pan you just used. Season it with EVOO and heat on medium-high heat. Drop the ground turkey into the pan and quickly begin to break apart the meat. For this dish, you want small-medium chunks of ground turkey. Season with salt, pepper, and Lawry’s.
- When cooking protein, it’s best to cook low and slow so that the meat doesn’t toughen up. Turn the heat down to low-medium and let the turkey cook halfway. They’ll be browned but still pink inside.
- Add as much chopped cilantro as you like. (I like a ton)
- Add the onions & mushrooms back into the pan and incorporate about ¾ of the marinara sauce.
- Whenever I’m cooking something that will end up cooking for awhile later on (in this case, the mixture is going to be baked inside the peppers), I want to make sure to undercook them so that it won’t be tough & dried out when the meal is finished. One technique I’ve found helpful is to spread the turkey, onions, and mushrooms to the outer ring of the pan to make room for what is being added next.
- Dump in the pack of frozen brown rice and let it warm through. After a few minutes, stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Turn off the heat.
- Salt the boiling water and parboil the peppers & lids for 3-4 minutes. They should be tender to the touch, but not cooked through.
- After the peppers have dried off, put them in an oiled baking dish/pan.
- I like to salt & pepper the inside of the pepper to give extra seasoning. I also think that adding a layer of shredded mozzarella to the bottom of the pepper is a nice addition. Adding the cheese to the hot turkey mixture would be way too messy.
- Stuff the peppers with the turkey filling. You can fill them as high as you like, but I don’t like messes so I stopped about ½ inch from the top of the pepper. Remember that you’re going to top it with cheese later :)
- Add a heaping spoonful of the remaining marinara sauce to the top of each pepper.
- Bake the peppers for about 12 minutes. Press the walls of the peppers between your thumb and forefinger to see how tender they are. The peppers are finished when they are cooked through, but not falling apart.
- Top each pepper with as much mozzarella cheese as you wish, and broil them to achieve a nice brown top.