Thirty Minute Thursdays: Rice & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about Rachael Ray’s meals, or at least the ones from the book I have of hers, it’s that she’s not a big fan of the bold, in-your-face flavors. Her Classic 30 Minute Meals book is full of safely good – conservatively good food. That’s not to down play the “good” part of that statement; I do enjoy a large majority of the recipes I make from it, but I don’t often find myself so blown away that I need to copy the recipe down for safe keeping. Once I feel as though I’ve more or less finished cooking my way through this book, I will likely give it away – it’s now full of food stains and my own haphazardly written notes in the margins so I doubt it’ll fetch any sort of price, but maybe it’ll find its way to a garage sale. Or maybe a few years from now I’ll become rich and famous and people will crawl over each other trying to get this old beat up cookbook I once owned, full of my own honest-to-goodness hand-written insights. Sounds likely, right?

Anyway, the recipe for this week’s Thirty Minute Thursday post is the most loosely based on one of Rachael Ray’s recipes as I’ve created yet. I took a recipe for rice with peppers in it and turned it into a full on stuffed pepper. In the end, I’m glad I did – I think the rice on its own would have been a little lackluster, and even with all of the changes it remained a very modest meal. I tend to go for the really wacky, explosively flavorful recipes, but every once in a while, even for me, it’s nice to turn to just a simple, understated recipe – and I know a lot of people prefer the majority of their meals to be that way. So for all of you out there, this one’s for you. No big flavors, no big spice, no big fuss – but it is good. The only thing I didn’t hit out of the park was the portions – the filling that I made was probably enough for about 1 ½ servings, so that’s been adjusted in the recipe below. If you wind up with extra, though, save it for a snack the next day, wrap it up in a tortilla with some beans for lunch – there are plenty of ways to enjoy it later on.

Rice & Turkey Stuffed Red Peppers, inspired by Rachael Ray’s Classic 30 Minute Meals
Yield: 4-5 servings

The Ingredients
1 ½ cups chicken broth
¾ cup brown rice
¼ small red pepper, finely chopped
½ cup cooked ground turkey
2 tablespoons chopped celery
¼ cup onion, diced
½ cup chopped kale
4-5 whole red peppers, left in tact
1 ½ tablespoons sliced scallions

The Method
Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Add the broth to a medium pot and bring to a boil, covered, before adding in the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover again, and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the majority or all of the liquid. Stir in the chopped red pepper, turkey, celery, onion, and kale, and allow to cook until the mixture has warmed through, approximately 5 minutes. Mix in the dressing so that it is evenly distributed.

Slice the tops off of the remaining whole peppers and hollow out the seeds. Divide the rice mixture evenly amongst them, packing it in if necessary but not actually overstuffing them. Wrap each stuffed pepper in foil (this will make things easier if they don’t all stand up on their own; the filling won’t spill out even if you need to bake them on their sides) and place them on a baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, remove from the foil, and serve with a scattering of the scallions on top.


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