Greek Stuffed Peppers

April 18, 2011

So, a friend of mine posted on Facebook last week that her least favorite “chore” is grocery shopping. I thought to myself, “are you kidding me?” I absolutely love to grocery shop. Sometimes, if I find myself in a different part of town that has a store that we don’t have here in the burbs – especially if it’s a store where no one speaks English – I MUST stop. It’s like a treasure hunt. . . . what new spices, elixir or concoction can I find? Anyway, most of the time though, I shop here in the burbs at Trader Joes and pick up a few odds and ends here and there. So, getting back to the point . . . . . last week I picked up some gorgeous jewel colored bell peppers. There were three in the bag: red, yellow and orange. Why did green get left out? Didn’t seem right, so I bought a green one as well. I found a recipe in a Weight Watcher’s cookbook that looked interesting, a bit of a twist on the usual stuffed bell pepper. Here’s the cast of characters:

Didn’t mean to have two pictures, just realized when it was too late that I forgot the spinach . . . . . .

Greek Stuffed Peppers

4 large bell peppers

2 t. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups baby spinach (I just used the whole bag which is about 4 cups)

1/2 t. dried oregano

1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey (I cooked the whole package and saved half – will find a use later)

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 can drained diced tomatoes

1/3 c. crumbled fat free feta cheese

2 T. toasted pine nuts

Salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash your bells. Slice about 1/2 inch off the top of each pepper, save it. Pull the ribs and seeds out of the inside. Now, pop the peppers in the micro for about 2-3 minutes – just to soften them a bit, we want them to still be “tender but firm,” just like a good parent. . . . Now, dice the pepper tops – stem goes in compost or garbage or whatever – and put them with your diced onion and garlic. Heat your oil in a large nonstick skillet . . . .

let’s talk about kitchen equipment for a minute. Did you know that “teflon” has a useful “lifespan” of about 3-4 years, depending upon how much you use it. And, it’s not mean to be heated about 265 degrees. . . . . and, there’s some evidence that it’s just not a good thing to be preparing our food in a pan coated with PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene). So, if you are in the market for a new nonstick pan, let me suggest this option. . . . the Green Pan,  just click on that and it will give you some info. I got mine at Target. . . . they’re everywhere.

back to our sauteing. . . . heat your oil in a large nonstick pan, toss in your chopped peppers, onion, garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef or turkey (your choice) to skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon – never use metal in a nonstick pan – until browned, about 8 minutes. This recipe calls for about half of the package shown. I just browned it all and stuck half in the freezer for use later. Now, add to your browned meat, in the skillet:  rice, tomatoes, feta and pine nuts, salt and pepper (to taste), and the spinach. (Do Over Note: If I were to make these again, which I probably won’t because there are just too many recipe’s out there I need to try. . . . . I would add about 1 t. of red pepper flakes at this point. Just to kick it up.) Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan, or cover with foil, to let the spinach wilt. Add all of that to the vegs in the bowl and mix it up.

Now, stuff the filling into each of the bell peppers. Place the peppers in a casserole dish. Give them a spray of Olive Oil on top (you can buy Olive Oil spray with the Pam type sprays). . . and bake for about 30 minutes. Opah! Serve this with a Greek Salad – chunks of tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives and romaine with a zesty balsamic dressing and enjoy.

I actually had left over filling because two of the bells were about half the size of the other two. . . . . so I threw the left over filling in the pan the next morning, heated it up and then added some beaten eggs for a really yummy Greek Scramble. Seriously, I never toss anything. . . . everything can have a new life. 🙂

Oops, almost forgot, The Stats:

Each pepper is 249 calories, 6pp (that’s Weight Watcher’s Points Plus)

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3 Responses to “Greek Stuffed Peppers”

  1. Janice said

    Hey, what is that other rice type product? It is kind of like the stuff that’s in tobuli (sp!) salad, but it is bigger like rice. Its higher in fiber and it would probably even better in this recipe, replacing the rice. I’m going to try this one. Stuffed peppers are one of my very favorite dishes.

    • Hey Janice – I think what you’re referring to is couscous. . . .that’s what’s used in tabouli but it’s smaller than rice. Are you thinking of orzo, which is actually pasta but it looks like a large rice grain? I think that either would work well. And, I think these would freeze very well.

  2. Lynnette Gamenara said

    I am a blogger too, and though it is not a public site such as yours, I totally get why it fuels you. I am sending this website to Alisa and Brian. She has been doing much of the cooking in the family for the last couple of months, and I believe that she would totally enjoy the Greek Peppers Recipe. Perhaps now that I will be home more, we can make it together. Keep up the great blogging.

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