Stuffed Bell Peppas!
The more I experiment in the kitchen the more I notice that as an adult my food palate is a lot different than that of my younger years. I ate avocados, tomatillos, Great Northern beans, jicama, and a lot of different spices and herbs than most other kids because I grew up in a very ethnically diverse community. My Mom, who I lovingly refer to as Junebug more often than not, was the ultimate pioneer of experimental food, hahaha! She had a knack for mixing strange things together and turning it into a delicious meal! I remember one time we were making tacos with ground beef, a first because Junebug is usually more of a pork taco gal, and after browning and seasoning the meat she realized it was too dry; it didn’t have enough of that delicious taco meat juice. We were in over our heads, y’all. So she takes a minute, looks around the kitchen, and sees a 4-pack of V8 tomato juice. I kid you not; she not only popped that can open and poured half of it onto the taco meat, she took a sip out of it first! My siblings and I were literally screaming! The betrayal we felt ran deep y’all! But after we tasted those tacos, she shut us up with the quickness! Honey!!!! Those were the best tacos she’s ever made! And to this day we still can’t get the exact recipe together to recreate them!
I share this story with you all because I believe the best recipes come from accidents! Chocolate chip cookies, popsicles, yogurt, the sandwich, COCA-COLA!! Need I go on? I’ve really enjoyed my experimentation in the kitchen and love that my Mom’s fearlessness and curiosity with food has finally been passed down to me. Because, let me tell you, there was a time when everything I cooked was “Cajun” (Junebug's nice word for burnt). So here’s to embracing my own curiosity and fearlessness in the kitchen! Check out how I made my Stuffed Bell Peppas and if the recipe speaks to you recreate it and tag @Dudeweremarried or me personally @Haighlove, so we can see how you liked it!
What you’ll need:
4 medium-large green bell peppers
1 small green bell pepper
1 package of ground meat (I chose ground turkey)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1½ cups of tomato sauce
1½ cups of cheese (I chose a Mexican blend, mainly because I already had it)
2 cups of rice
1 tbsp. of butter
Salt N Peppa
3 Goya Salad & Vegetable seasoning packets (my secret weapon)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (aka EVOO)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Wash all of your bell peppers and cut the seeded core out of the 4 large peppers. (I did this successfully by shallowly cutting around the stem at the top the bell pepper and simply pulling the stem out.) You’ll also want to rinse out the inside of the pepper and pull out any of the extra membrane.
Rub EVOO on the outside and inside of your large bell peppers. Then sprinkle Salt N Peppa on both the outside and inside. Line your baking dish with aluminum and then pop the peppers into the oven for 10-12 minutes uncovered. (This is to soften the bell peppers, we all know they can be a tad bit too crunchy when stuffed. #yourewelcome)
Dice and saute your small bell pepper with the can of diced tomatoes, adding in a half of the Goya seasoning packet.
Brown your ground turkey, adding in the specified seasonings
Cook your rice, adding in your butter, a whole Goya seasoning packet, and peppa
Combine your bell pepper and tomato mix with your browned meat and rice.
Add in one cup of tomato sauce and your cheese.
Stir until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
Grab a spoon and scoop the mixture into the bell peppers until you reach the lip of the bell pepper. Repeat for all bell peppers. (You will have left over mixture, but don’t worry I’ve got a plan for that too!)
Place one tbsp of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese on the top of your bell peppers.
Cook time: 25-30 minutes on 350 degrees
Now about the extra “stuffing”. You have a couple of different options, you can do!
Ever heard of UN-stuffed bell peppas!? Because you have already diced the small bell pepper into your mixture, you’ve already created this meal! Pair it with your favorite salad and some warm bread for a well balanced meal!
Another option is to recreate the stuffed bell peppas! Just use it with any leftover bell peppers that you didn’t quite finish. (I almost never eat the whole bell pepper, so I just save whatever is left and add the mixture to it.)
*I made a meatless option for Trice, if you want to recreate her stuffed bell peppas, simply subtract the meat from the supply list! I’ve added pictures of both options below!