Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

I had a crisper-drawer full of bell peppers. Nice problem to have, isn't it?! :) I harvested these from the garden a couple of weeks ago, before our first "hard frost", and there were so many that I needed to do something with them before they started to get soft.

My Mom mentioned that she also had a lot of bell peppers and was making a large batch of stuffed peppers to freeze. I decided to emulate her and do the same.

This is basically her recipe (I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, and brown rice instead of white). She has made these for so many years that she didn't have exact measurements, but she did tell me what ingredients to use and they turned out great.

Stuffed peppers are a comfort food from when I was a kid, perfect for fall and winter. For some reason, neither me nor my brothers and sister ever ate the pepper itself. We would eat the meat stuffing, then toss the pepper in the trash. Yet another instance of my wanting to transport myself back in time to give my younger self a smart little slap and say "you idiot! Try it!". They are gooooood!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

Recipe By : My Mom
Serving Size : 8

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

3/4 cup brown rice -- cooked (will yield about 2-1/2 cups of cooked rice)
3 pounds bell peppers -- about 8 large
6 ounces sweet onion -- cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Italian herbs
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 pounds lean ground turkey
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
28 ounces tomato sauce
1/4 cup water -- or dry red wine
1 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- (or more, adjust to taste)

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting fat and salt. When done, remove lid, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.

Slice peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove stem, core, and seeds. Place about 4" of water in a large pot (that can hold all of the peppers), bring to a boil, add the peppers, cover, lower heat, and steam for 5 minutes or until barely tender. Drain into a colander and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a large baking pan (large enough to hold the peppers in a single layer) and set aside.

In a food processor, chop the onion. Add the garlic, Italian herbs, egg and egg white and process.

Place the ground turkey in a large bowl, add cooked rice, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix lightly. Pour the egg mixture over all and mix well (using your just-washed hands is the best way).

Mix the tomato sauce, water or wine, oregano, basil, and pepper in a small bowl. Season with ground black pepper to taste. Pour about 3/4 cup into the bottom of the baking sheet and spread around a little. Set aside the remaining sauce.

Divide mixture between each pepper half, rounding the tops. Place in the baking sheet, and cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes, remove foi and baste with saucel, then continue to bake for fifteen minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly, spoon additional sauce over, and serve.

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Per serving: 333 Calories (kcal); 10g Total Fat (2 g Saturated); (25% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 97mg Cholesterol; 754mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates