When a pregnant woman talks you listen…
especially when she’s talking about food and especially if she’s your daughter. Cravings… maybe but not sure?!?! Recently I spent a day with Talia, my eldest and the bearer of our first grand baby and I offered to make dinner while I visited. She didn’t think twice when she suggested Stuffed Peppers.
Stuffed Peppers has been a family favorite for years. I don’t make it all the time because with anything I totally get not wanting to tire of the dish. But I have to admit… it’s a good one filled with tender meat, cooked sweet onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil, and delicious Parmesan cheese. The meat I like to use is ground lamb – it’s flavorful, it’s a leaner meat and it’s just nice to switch things up. I’ve been using ground lamb for quite some time and Mike and I prefer it over using beef in this recipe. However if lamb nor beef is to your liking, try bison which is another good choice.
This time around I used red peppers, but I’ve made the dish with multi-colored peppers and it’s a lovely mixture of tastes as well as color. But there was something about these gorgeous deep red colored peppers that I loved. I added a side of sautéed spinach and the plate popped in color.
Talia loved the dish and said, while simple, this stuffed pepper dish is incredibly savory and will have you reaching for seconds.
This is what you will need:
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 3 medium-sized red peppers*
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil*
- 1/2 of a large onion, chopped
- 2 medium/large sized garlic cloves, finely diced
- 10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground pepper, approximately 1/4 tsp.
- 1/4 cup basil, torn into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese*
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
- Slice the peppers in half (slicing through the stem) and place in a roasting dish face down. Roast for approximately 15 minutes, can be longer if needed.
- Add the olive oil into a large skillet and heat oil on medium heat. Add in onions, turn up heat slightly and sauté until they are lightly brown around the edges. Sprinkle the onion with the 1/2 tsp. salt and stir.
- Add the garlic and let cook for about 30 seconds or until you smell the aroma of the garlic. Then add in 1/2 of the cut tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes. You want the tomatoes to break down a little.
- Add in the meat and cook until done, stirring and breaking the meat into small pieces. At this point, taste your mixture and add in the pepper and if needed the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt. Stir again.
- Finally, add in the remainder of your tomatoes, the 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese, and the basil. Stir and simmer for about 2 minutes. Taste again!
- Remove the peppers from the oven and flip the peppers in preparation for stuffing.
- Spoon the mixture into each pepper and then place back into the oven for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
Did you know that each colored pepper has a slightly different taste. Green peppers can be bitter and grassy tasting, while red peppers are the sweetest with a citrusy taste. Orange and yellow are the middle of the road peppers…sweet but not as sweet or citrusy as the red.
In addition to olive oil, I also use my favorite fat which is bacon grease but because I was at Talia’s I used what was available.
This time around I used Parmesan Cheese which tasted just fine. The difference between the two cheeses… parmesan is more acidic and saltier while the Parmigiano Reggiano is a more nutty cheese. Also, to be classified as a Parmigiano Reggiano it must come from particular regions of Italy.
I adapted this recipe from Practical Paleo a customized approach to health and a whole-foods lifestyle.
From my kitchen to yours…enjoy and bon appétit!