The Carb-Haters Stuffed Pepper that Even Carb Lovers Will Enjoy

I promised you a recipe that did not include chicken, and I have not failed you. No, this time, I am bringing you a recipe that includes turkey instead. I have to say, I've been cosying up to lean, ground turkey breast lately - ever since vowing off non-grass fed beef. As long as you're careful about reading the packaging, ground turkey is an excellent source of lean protein and brings a refreshing, light flavor to the table. Now, in a blind taste test, you would be hard pressed to find someone who couldn't tell the difference between turkey and beef - even if burger or meatloaf form. That isn't the point. The point is variety and, if you're like me and have trouble finding meat from happy cows, still having something other than chicken to eat.

I really like stuffed peppers: little, personal boats of anything your heart desires. I like this stuffed pepper recipe even more, because it doesn't use rice or another grain as the number one ingredient. I'm definitely not carb-conscious, but it's nice to have a meal without tons and tons of starch every once in a while. That being said, the meat can be cut down in this recipe and replaced by your very favorite grain. It is easy to make, easy to scale down and, I would imagine, scale up, easy to chill and reheat for a quick lunch the next day.

Stuffed Bell Peppers, courtesy of Sweet and Savory Tooth
Yield: 2-4 servings; I used 1 pepper and got 2 meals out of it, but as this isn't a very heavy dish, a full pepper per person is not a surprising suggestion
The Ingredients
4 medium to large green peppers
1.25 pounds ground turkey breast
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1-2 tsp garlic salt (I just used garlic)
2 tsp onion powder
3/4 of a jar Italian pasta sauce (I used a couple tablespoons of frozen homemade)
2/3C frozen corn, thawed
1C frozen broccoli, thawed
salt and pepper, to taste (omitted)

The Method
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While it's heating, prepare the peppers: either cut the tops off if using a full pepper per person, or cut longitudinally (or, if you still reference angles the way you did in 1st grade like I do, the hot-dog way) if planning to serve half a pepper per person. Once the pepper is cut to your liking, de-seed and de-membrane, and reserve the tops of the peppers to make the end product look prettier.
2. Wrap the peppers in aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes, then set aside.
3. Spray a skillet with cooking spray or a splash of olive oil (1-2 tsp should do the trick - no more than 1 tbsp.), and place over medium heat. Cook the turkey until almost browned, then add the chopped pepper, garlic and onion powders. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
4. Lower the heat and the sauce, broccoli, corn, and salt and pepper, if using. Continue to cook over low heat until combined, no more than about 5 minutes.
5. Portion out the turkey mixture evenly into all of the peppers, and bake (still in the foil) for another 20-25 minutes. When they're done, remove the foil, place the tops on if you kept them, and serve.

All of these backlogged recipes have taught me one very important lesson: I really need to document my thoughts on the recipe. I've stopped printing out the recipes, opting instead to carry my laptop into the kitchen for what I need. It's nice to not have sheets of paper lying everywhere, but when I don't run right over to my laptop after I taste a recipe to tell you all about it, there's no hope of a detailed account. I'll try to remember to take some notes even without the printed out recipe to write on - I feel as though my entries have become a little bit too formulaic.

I've also been told that I need to start creating my own recipes. I have some little recipes here and there, but it is true that I'm still fairly dependent on the creativity of others. I have my ideas, including some that I'm itching to try now that the season has changed, but I chicken out half the time and just alter someone else's recipe instead of experimenting. I'll work on that, too. If nothing else, the experiments will provide for some entertaining posts!

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