Meal Planning Monday – Stuffed Peppers

When Dan and I got married, I fancied myself quite the chef. But looking back, I never seasoned my food enough (except for the great Valentine’s Day pork chop fail that we still talk about – so much salt). I made stuffed peppers pretty often, but again, did not season them enough. I was always afraid of over-seasoning. So they were sort of bland.

When we were meal planning for this week, Dan mentioned stuffed peppers because it had been so long since I’d made them. I think stuffed peppers are fun because you really can use your own flavors when you’re making them. In my experience, the filling is rice, a meat and some veggies.

I was not going to blog about these because they usually end up “just ok” but these were really, really good. Dan and I both said it a few times while we were eating them.

*4 large green peppers
*1 cup uncooked rice (cooked in chicken stock)
*1 pound ground beef
*2 teaspoons minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
*2 medium carrots, diced
*1/2 red onion, diced
*1 tablespoon dried basil
*Salt and pepper to taste
*Shaved parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.

Prepare a baking dish by lining it with foil.

Start cooking the rice according to the package directions.

Sliced the tops off of the 4 green peppers (I cut around, like you would when carving a pumpkin). Discard tops and clean out the inside. The cleaner it is, the more filling you can stuff in there!

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef making sure to break it up into small pieces. Once it’s done, drain it out onto a plate lined with paper towels. Don’t rinse out the pan – you need that grease / oil that is lining the pan.

On medium heat, add the onions, garlic and carrots. Cook until carrots are a little tender – about 10-15 minutes.

Add the meat back to the skillet and cook. Add the basil, salt and pepper.

If your skillet is big enough, add the rice and mix. If not, toss it all into a bowl.

Fill the peppers with the rice / meat filling. If you have extra, freeze it for future stuffed peppers, serve it with your stuffed peppers, whatever. We served it with our stuffed peppers because it was so good. The kids ate the filling, too.

Top the filled peppers with shaved parmesan cheese and cover with foil. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

The shaved parmesan really brought it all together. I have decided I like using that more than the grated parm. The taste is really different and so much better.

Happy cooking!

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