If you live in the midwest, you’re feeling my pain right about now. The temperatures are in the negatives. I’m not talking -5, I’m talking -50 with the windchill. This is enough to make someone want to move south. And to make matters worse, the sun is shining! It’s almost like it is taunting us.
So since my wedding dress ‘diet’ started this week, I was in search of some good meal options for my lunches. I enjoy salads but with the weather being so frigid I prefer something that I can warm up. Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite classic meals. It’s so complete and you can play around with the flavors and fillings to tailor them to your taste buds. I prefer a traditional meat and rice filling.
Cooking the meat ahead of time allows you to drain off the fat, which cuts down on some of the calories. You can also opt for ground turkey if you want to reduce the fat and calories even further. I used brown rice for the added nutritional value and a low-fat cheese. I would also suggest using quinoa as a filler in place of the rice.
Do you have a favorite classic meal?
- 4 medium bell peppers
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 12 ounces ground beef, preferably ground chuck
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14½ ounces) crushed tomatoes
- ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash the peppers. Cut open the top diameter and remove the seeds and cores. Place the peppers in a baking dish.
- Heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1½ minutes; add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground beef and cook, breaking beef into small pieces with spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain. Transfer mixture to bowl with rice; stir in ½ of the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the mixture evenly amongst the 4 peppers. Cover with the remaining crushed tomatoes and cheese and bake for 40 minutes.