On one of our first dates, Jeremy and I had a conversation about favourite foods. He mentioned stuffed peppers and stuffed tomatoes and tucked that little nugget away in case I needed it. Sadly, it has taken almost two years of marriage for me to finally make him one!
This was a recipe taken from Cooking Light's publication, Eat Smart, Eat Well. It is a fairly simple meal to prepare even though it looks fiddly. It is worthy of a special occasion, or just a Wednesday night dinner with someone special!
I served it with a side of steamed sugar snap peas and some thinly sliced onion and shredded cabbage which I fried together in a teeny bit of butter and olive oil. Simple sides but so good to have some green to go with the peppers.
This recipe is for 4 peppers. We ate two for dinner and I packaged the others up for lunches in the days ahead.
4 red peppers
3/4 lb ground (mince) beef
I C-ish chopped onion (1 onion)
1 C un-cooked brown rice (you could use white too, I just prefer brown)
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 C bottled pasta sauce (divided)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C dry red wine (I used cooking wine)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Cook rice according to directions. Set aside.
While the rice cooks, cut the tops across the peppers. Cut out the white membrane and the seeds and throw away. Place the peppers in a glass 8x8 dish, cut sides down. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Cool. (I wasn't sure what 'crisp-tender meant, and I cooked the peppers for two minutes, and then an extra 30 seconds and they turned out great)
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, onion, parsley, paprika, salt and allspice and cook until beef is lightly browned. Remove from the heat. Add the rice, 1/2 C pasta sauce and cheese. Stir to combine.
While the beef is cooking combine 1 1/2 C of pasta sauce and the red wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Spoon about 3/4 C of the beef mixture (or until its all gone) into each pepper, I packed them pretty tight.
Place peppers in a baking dish coated with cooking spray, add the wine mixture to the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes until lightly browned. Serve the peppers with sauce. Garnish with the pepper tops to look pretty!