Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan

After the last successful stuffed pepper recipe I was searching for more delicious recipes. This is one I stumbled on and we love it. I have made it twice already and like I've said before if we make it more than once and my family will eat it, it's a keeper.

Stuffed Green Peppers

1 cup long grain brown rice
4 large green peppers
1 large onion diced
2 tsp olive oil
2-3 links of Italian sausage, browned
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup mozzarella shredded cheese

(I'm lazy and don't want to type the directions so they are copy and pasted from 
It's really not that difficult. It seems like a lot of directions....).

 Cook rice according to package directions, or using a rice cooker. (Rice can be cooked ahead and used in this recipe later.)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you've sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. (A dish that's close in size to the peppers will work best.)

Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren't browned. Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it's lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner.

Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add cooked rice and Parmesan cheese, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.

Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it's tightly packed into the pepper shell. (A few years ago I stopped pre-cooking the peppers before stuffing, and now I prefer peppers that are stuffed raw.) If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers. Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

You can freeze leftover peppers for a month or two, although the frozen peppers will be a little softer in texture (but still very tasty.) I cut them in half top-to-bottom before freezing and freeze two halves in a small baking dish with a snap-on lid.

Southwest Salad with Spicy Cilantro Dressing

Here is another good healthy dish. I have made similar salads in the past. They usually call for some sort of Avocado dressing, which are usually delicious, but very messy to make and don't last more than a day. That was my favorite part about this salad. The dressing is very low in fat and delicious for several days after, so left overs are not out of the question. I still don't own a grill so I don't have the luxury of adding grilled chicken but i just bake my chicken breast with a little bit of olive oil, salt and ground pepper and it tastes great.

Southwest Salad with Spicy Cilantro Dressing

Romaine lettuce
Red bell pepper
Corn (canned is good)
Black beans
Green onion
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced grilled chicken breast


1- 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 Tbsp mayo
1/4 cup fat free half and half
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use only a pinch if you don't want it to be as spicy)
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar

Mix your dressing and top chopped salad ingredients. Yummy!

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

We have been trying to eat a little healthier in the Stewart home, and that means adding lots of veggies and fruits to our meals. James doesn't usually like some of the really healthy stuff I make but he made a deal with me that if we didn't eat out for a month he would eat anything I cooked including the weird healthy stuff and he also said I could buy the family first aid Doterra Essential Oils I have been wanting for awhile. It's pretty expensive but I know and he knows I would put all of them to good use and try and get others to do the same. (That's another story for my other blog). Anyway, I tried this recipe recently and I LOVED IT!!! Oh my goodness, it is such a fresh and delicious combination of flavors. We ate it as a main dish, but I could see myself making it the next time I'm asked to bring a salad to a ward potluck or something. I really could go on. TRY IT! You'll like it.

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

1 cup uncooked Quinoa
15 oz can garbanzo beans
3 roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups of corn (frozen corn, thawed)
4 green onions


2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp basil (fresh if you have it)

Rinse quinoa and cook according to directions (I like to cook mine in chicken broth to add a little bit of flavor).
In a small bowl mix dressing and set aside.
Slice veggies and set aside.
When quinoa is cooked and cooled mix with veggies and dressing. Let cool in fridge and serve. YUM!