I was looking to make an alternative dinner dish in place of the customary meat and fish. After some research, I found a great recipe in one of my favorite healthy food cookbooks, Secrets of a Skinny Chef by Jennifer Iserloh. I've dabbled in Jennifer's recipes before when I made her light Banana Cream Pie and the Blondie Brownies. Both recipes had a high level of success, so I had a good feeling about the stuffed peppers.
I bought tri-color peppers, which made this dish look really pretty. I substituted ground chicken meat for the turkey, giving this dish more lightness. The bed of brown rice was a nice side dish and overall, it was an exciting plate to serve up on a weekend night. I highly suggest it for a healthy and satisfying meal. And if you've never made stuffed peppers before, don't be intimated to do so - this recipe is very user friendly.
Stuffed Peppers in Homemade Tomato Sauce:
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 26 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped or grated
1 celery stalk, chopped or grated
1/4 cup of basil leaves, chopped
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 green, red, or orange bell peppers
Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic. Decrease the heat to medium low and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes fragrant but doesn't brown. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until the paste browns lightly. Add the peeled tomatoes and water. Bring to a slow simmer.
In the same bowl with the rice, place the turkey (or ground chicken if using), onions, carrots, celery, basil, egg whites, salt, and black pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined; the mixture will be wet. Using a small pairing knife, cut the tops off the bell peppers. Scoop out the ribs and seeds. Distribute filling among the peppers and place them in the stockpot with the sauce, filling side up. Cover and simmer 35-40 minutes, until the filling is cooked through and the bell peppers are soft. Serve immediately.