You Can Stuff My Peppers Anytime
Updated: Oct 23, 2020
My stuffed peppers have come a long way and really evolved over the years. Before my Italian grandmother died, she made it her mission to teach me as many of her recipes as possible. I have fond memories of standing beside her in the kitchen and really taking in everything she was teaching me. My childhood memories are filled with Sunday pasta dinners in her small kitchen surrounded with our family members. I grew up referring to sauce as gravy, and we always ended our meal by eating our salad last. She was an amazing cook, and I am lucky she took me under her wing. Her dishes weren't fancy or gourmet worthy, but they were incredible home-cooked meals made with love and ingredients fresh from the garden and the local butcher. (When local butchers were a thing and knew their customers by name!)
Besides her sauce (which I never could master, but will share my own in another post), one of my favorite recipes is her stuffed peppers. This is an easy dish that can be prepared ahead of time and left in the fridge before baking.
The skinny on peppers:
Vitamins and Minerals
Bell peppers are loaded with various vitamins and minerals, and are exceptionally rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin C: One medium-sized red bell pepper contains 169% of the RDA for vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this essential nutrient.
Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine is the most common type of vitamin B6, which is a family of nutrients that are important for the formation of red blood cells.
Vitamin K1: A form of vitamin K, also known as phylloquinone. It is important for blood clotting and bone health.
Potassium: An essential mineral that may improve heart health if consumed in adequate amounts.
Folate: Also known as folic acid, folacin, or vitamin B9, folate has a variety of functions in the body. Adequate folate intake is very important during pregnancy.
Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant, essential for healthy nerves and muscles. The best dietary sources of this fat-soluble vitamin are oils, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
Vitamin A: Red bell peppers are high in pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene), which is converted into vitamin A in the body.
The most common types of visual impairments include macular degeneration and cataracts, the main causes of which are old age and infections.
However, nutrition may also play a significant role in the development of these diseases.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids found in relatively high amounts in bell peppers, may improve eye health considerably when consumed in adequate amounts.
In fact, they protect the human retina, the light-sensitive inner wall of the eye, from oxidative damage.
A number of studies indicate that regular consumption of foods rich in these carotenoids may cut the risk of both cataracts and macular degeneration.
Put simply, adding bell peppers to your regular diet may be an excellent way to lower the risk of visual impairments.
Prevention of Anemia
Anemia is a common condition characterized by reduced ability of the blood to carry oxygen.
One of the most common causes of anemia is iron deficiency, the main symptoms of which are weakness and tiredness.
Not only are red bell peppers a decent source of iron, they are also exceptionally rich in vitamin C, which increases the absorption of iron from the gut.
In fact, one medium-sized red bell pepper may contain 169% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C.
Absorption of dietary iron is significantly increased when consumed with fruits or vegetables that are high in vitamin C .
Turkey and Beef Stuffed Peppers in assorted colors
The girls in my house prefer the turkey, while the guys like the beef stuffed peppers.
6 Bell peppers (assorted colors if you prefer)
1 1/2 Pounds of lean ground beef (93% lean) or 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
1 Cup of cooked rice (long grain, Jasmine, Basmati..whatever is in your pantry)
1/2 Cup of peppers diced in bite size pieces
1/2 Cup of onion diced in bite size pieces
1/2 Cup Parsley chopped up
3 Cups of tomato sauce
salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
Slice the tops of your peppers off and set aside to use for the filling.
Boil a pot of water and place the 6 peppers inside for 2 minutes, then remove and place in baking pan.
Saute your vegetables (pepper lids, onion) and parsley till soft, then place in bowl.
Combine your meat and cooked rice in the same bowl. Sprinkle desired seasonings and mix well.
Spoon your meat, rice, vege mixture into your peppers, spread healthy amount of sauce on top of each pepper and also pour sauce in bottom of pan with 1/3 cup of water.
Bake for 75 minutes at 350.
** vegetables can be sauteed ahead and peppers can be prepared ahead as well and placed in fridge until you are ready to cook.