Sunday, April 18, 2010

Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

I love this recipe for so many reasons.  Turkey-stuffed bell peppers are filled with lean protein and vitamin and nutrient-packed veggies.  They're also low in carbs, fat, and calories.  And of course, they're tasty, filling, and look gorgeous.  Be sure to look for low (or no) sodium/salt for your tomato sauce to keep this dish heart-healthy as well.  

A few words on peppers.  They're delicous raw as a snack and add a lot of flavor to prepared dishes.  Peppers are full of vitamins A, C, and K.   They're loaded with antioxidants, lycopene, and fiber.  

Ingredients (4 servings):

    1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey 
    3 Large Green Peppers (2 with tops, seeds, and core removed, 1 chopped)
    3 Large Red Peppers (2 with tops, seeds, and core removed, 1 chopped)

    2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
    2 Medium Garlic Cloves, chopped (or 2 tsp. minced garlic)
    1 cup fresh Mushrooms, sliced (or 1 4-oz. can sliced mushrooms)
    1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
    2 tsp. Basil
    2 tsp. Oregano  
    1 Ripe Red Tomato, diced (or 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, no Salt Added) 
    2 small cans (or 1 Large-14-15 oz) low (or no) sodium Tomato Sauce
    1/3 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese (I used some of each cheese; Also, I use Fat-Free Mozz, but 1-2% is also healthy with a little more flavor)
    Extra Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese (for sprinkling on top)

    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2.  In medium skillet, brown turkey.  Drain and set aside.
    3.  Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high.  Add mushrooms, chopped Green and Red Peppers, and garlic.  Sauté about 4-5 minutes.
    4.  Turn heat to low.  Add turkey, seasonings (basil, oregano, garlic powder), diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce to skillet with veggies.  Stir to mix well.  Stir in cheese.
    5.  Spoon 1/4 the mixture into each of the 4 Peppers.  Set on baking sheet lightly sprayed with butter cooking spray (be careful your peppers don't topple over!)  If you have extra filling, save it to eat by itself or over rice or pasta for leftovers.
    6.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of each Pepper.
    7.   Bake for 35 minutes.

    Serve immediately!

    For Freezing:  Wrap each individual bell pepper in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil (be sure to label/date each pepper).  Thaw in refrigerator during the day.  Once thawed, place in greased baking dish and bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.  They should freeze for up to 3 months.    
    Note:  I omitted onions from this recipe, although adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped onions (during Step 3) would be perfectly acceptable and would add more flavor.  I personally don't like onions though.  

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