Some dishes are naturally allergen-free. Stuffed peppers is one of those dishes. In addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free and most other major allergens without any special accomodations, the thing I love about stuffed peppers is that they can be made in bulk and frozen. So in the fall when peppers are very inexpensive at the vegetable markets you can buy a bunch, make a lot of stuffed peppers and then freeze most of them for that night that you know is coming when you just…cannot….make….dinner. Period.
I personally have had that night, and all I can tell you is that stuffed peppers are much healthier, tastier and much less expensive than Option B. The frozen gluten, dairy and soy free pizza. Or Option C. Hot dogs and frozen broccoli.
Oh yeah, I have totally have done that before.
8 to 10 medium mixed colors of bell peppers. yellow and red are sweeter tasting and therefore preferable. They need to have flattish bottoms but do not need to be green. All colors work well.
1.5 lb ground beef (preferably grass fed)
1.5 cup minced pepper tops
2 cups minced onion (about 1 large onion)
2 cups uncooked rice
2 TB dried parsley
1.5 tsp salt
1 cup crushed tomatoes w/o salt
1/4 cup safe ketchup
1 large cooking pot for parboiling peppers
1 frying pan for cooking ground beef
1 baking pan / casserole dish large enough to hold the peppers.
1 small bowl for making “sauce”
Fill pot with water to about 2″ below the rim
Set pot on high heat to boil
Cut the tops off of the peppers removing about the top 1/2 inch
Pull the pith and seeds out of the inside of the peppers. Use a knife if necessary
If you are eating the peppers tonight, take the peppers and put them in the boiling water for about 3 minutes using the tongs. Then fish them out using the tongs and let them cool and dry on paper towels. If you are doing this in advance planning to bake the peppers on another day, skip this step. It won’t matter and you will save time
Add rice to boiling water and boil for 20 minutes or until rice is done and sticky
(note: you can use prepared frozen rice. One bag of Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice is just about the right amount)
Meanwhile dump meat into frying pan and cook over medium low heat until it becomes crumbly and releases its fat. Add minced onions and peppers to the pan and saute until the onions become translucent. Add parsley and salt. Add tomato sauce and heat through. Add drained rice (or if you are like me frozen precooked rice)
Make “sauce” by mixing Mix 1/4 c ketchup with 1/4 c water.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture
Spoon the ketchup mixture on the top
Put into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes (you are just cooking the peppers at this point)
If you are serving this with side dishes it serves 4. It can easily be doubled or tripled. You may want extra ketchup mixture for serving.