May is probably one of the busiest months for me each year – plethora of birthdays (including my dear husbands), Mother’s Day and my parents wedding anniversary, plus that doesn’t include what seems like a popular month for weddings and special events.
If I didn’t have my smartphone including my calendar and reminders to keep me in check, I’d probably lose my mind. I’ve got sticky notes all over my desk (yes, I love my sticky notes!), on top of piles of forms that for some reason keep on piling up to be signed and sent back for my daughters’ school and/or extra-curricular classes (and is it just me or are they taking all my money too? *sigh*), and piles of laundry to be washed or folded. The hours pass fairly quickly in this house, especially during the week day, so getting dinner ready is usually a spasmodic scramble.
I always create dishes that are accommodating for every member of the family but there are times when I would prefer to have something with a little more heat and satisfying for the more mature tastebuds. When I want to make something quick and easy for just my husband and I on the side of whatever I whip up for the kids for dinner, there’s one recipe that is tried and true for the both of us and it’s my stuffed green peppers.
What’s great is you can put pretty much anything your heart desires in them, and they almost always taste delicious. I prefer a more healthy alternative, so I typically make mine with a delicious combination of brown rice, hot turkey sausage and parmesan cheese. I top with mozzarella cheese and once those babies pop out of the oven and the cheese is all melty… yummy! You can use any type of sausage you want, but I always like mine spicy! If you’re opting for a vegetarian version, swap the sausage for mushrooms!
I love that they sell individual rice cups where you just simply have to heat in the microwave which works perfectly and SO convenient for this recipe where I don’t need to make a big batch of rice.
Another delicious #WeekdayWin thanks to Minute Rice!
- 1 cup of Minute Rice Brown Rice (or any other type of long grain, but I much prefer the brown for a healthier yet tasty dish!)
- 4 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 links (about 8 oz.) turkey Hot Italian Sausage (or other sweet sausage of your choice if you don't like it hot)
- 1/2 tsp. ground fennel
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 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 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 - I use ramekins for individual peppers.)
- 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.
- If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers (but I never have leftovers because I gobble them up!)
- 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.
- Use diced mushrooms instead of sausage for vegetarian version.