Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Recipe for Stuffed Peppers with Cabbage

Stuffed Peppers with Cabbage
Not the best photos I've taken, but this is a delicious recipe!

My local store had red peppers on sale for $1.00 each, and I hadn't had stuffed peppers for a while, so I decided to experiment. I did a couple of things that were new for me. First, I (gasp) did not pre-cook the peppers. That meant they were cooked by roasting, which I thought gave a great flavor and kept them a bit more tender-crisp than normal stuffed peppers. Second, I put a good bit of finely diced cabbage in the stuffing to notch up the nutrition a bit, since cabbage is one of The World's Healthiest Foods, at least according to the list by the George Mateljan Foundation. I added brown rice and cremini mushrooms to the stuffing for even more nutrition. The long baking time to get the peppers roasted caused the Italian Sausage flavor to go all through the stuffing. These were quite simply the best stuffed peppers I've ever made.

Stuffed Peppers with Cabbage
(Makes 4 servings, or 8 servings as part of a bigger meal, recipe created by Kalyn for ARF/5-a-Day at Sweetnicks)

Ingredients:
4 large red bell peppers
2 links hot Italian Sausage (turkey sausage is lower in fat and just as tasty)
1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 onion, diced small
1-2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
8 oz. diced mushrooms, preferably crimini or portobella (if you use regular white mushrooms, be sure to cook off all the liquid)
2 cups very finely chopped cabbage
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan, plus 4 T for topping peppers
salt, pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Saute Italian Sausage and ground chuck in large frying pan until well browned, breaking into small pieces with turner as it cooks. Remove meat, pour out fat, and wipe out pan. (If there is a lot of fat, sometimes I rinse the browned meat with very hot water, which washes off the fat.)

Add 1 T olive oil, heat 1 minute, then add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, basil, and oregano, and saute 3 minutes.

When mushrooms are soft, add cabbage and more olive oil if needed, and saute until soft, about 3 minutes more. Add meat back into pan and heat through. Turn off heat and mix in brown rice and Parmesan cheese. Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Find a glass dish just large enough to hold the peppers so they will stand upright. Cut off stem end of each pepper and remove seeds. (Save the stem end pieces for another use.) If the other end is not reasonably flat, cut off a thin layer to make a flat bottom on each pepper. (Usually some need this and some don't.) Fill each pepper with stuffing, packing it in tightly with a spoon. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes to one hour, until peppers are fairly soft. When peppers seem nearly done, put about one tablespoon coarsely grated parmesan on the top of each pepper, and bake uncovered 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is browned.

(Note: I baked my peppers for one hour at 350 F before I added the cheese, but it was in a toaster oven, which I sometimes think takes longer to cook things through. You want the peppers to still be a tiny bit crisp for best flavor, so adjust the time accordingly.)



South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect South Beach Diet dish for phase 2 or 3, especially if you use brown rice and be careful to use turkey Italian Sausage and a low fat ground chuck. To make a great meal, all you need to add is something like Cucumbers Caesar and maybe some Slow Roasted Asparagus.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

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7 comments:

  1. Kalyn, these peppers look just delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. i love that you used red peppers instead of green. didn't even cross my mind to do so before. the stuffing sounds too good. which store was it that had them on sale?

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  3. Vanessa, they are on sale at Albertsons. They also had yellow and orange on sale, but at my Albertsons the other colors didn't seem as firm, so I went with red. (For those who are wondering, Vanessa of She Craves lives by me. How cool is that?)

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  4. Nice! I'm just like you: Every time I make stuffed peppers (I use Anaheims, sideways), they're the best ones I've ever had. :D
    PS: We put cooked beans in peppers, along with onions and cheese... That sounds South Beachy.

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  5. I loved stuffed peppers made with red peppers! I much prefer them to the green. This looks great!

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  6. Red peppers are so beautifully stuffed with cabbage , a double treat for veggies for sure :)

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