Did you know that bell peppers are actually fruits because they come from flowering plans and contain seeds? Ya me either. Random fact for the day. All I know is I love them and I absolutely LOVE stuffed bell peppers. This was an easy meal to make Paleo by substituting grated cauliflower for rice.
Bell Peppers are full of nutrients and the riper they are,the higher the content of nutrients. Vitamin C and carotenoids increase according to the ripeness of the pepper, which also increases their total antioxident capacity. In one recent study, the vitamin C in not-fully-ripe bell peppers continued to increase during home storage over a period of about 10 days. It can, though, be difficult to tell whether a bell pepper is optimally ripe. Most–but not all–green bell peppers will turn red in color over time, but they may be optimally ripe before shifting over from green to red. A good rule of thumb is to judge less by their basic color and more by their color quality as well as overall texture and feel.
This recipe is also good for leftovers (something that is important to me), you can also prepare everything in the morning then bake it right before you’re ready to eat it.
The Good Stuff:
- 1 lb ground meat (I’ll either use just ground beef or a combination of beef and sausage)
- 4-5 bell peppers, depending on the size (the green peppers will be slightly bitter, while the red and orange peppers are significantly sweeter)
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 large white onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Italian seasoning (to taste)
The How To:
- Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise and place in a pan of boiling water. Boil for 3-5 minutes until just starting to turn tender. Pull them out of the water and drain on a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pan, saute onions and garlic for about 2 minutes then add meat.
- Saute until half way cooked, then add mushrooms, cooking until done.
- Meanwhile, shred a half head of cauliflower in a food processor.
- In another bowl mix tomato sauce with chopped tomatoes and seasoning, to taste. I used salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and thyme.
- Add cauliflower to meat mixture and saute about 5-10 minutes, until tender then add tomato mixture and simmer about 10 minutes.
- Lay bell peppers bottom side down in a casserole dish. Ladle mixture into peppers until all the meat mixture is in dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
Side Note: This is also yummy with some added parmesan cheese. I stir in shredded parmesan right before scopping the mixture into the peppers.