PALEO & WHOLE30 STUFFED PEPPERS & MEAT SAUCE
Sweet peppers are so high in vitamins and minerals and ideal for your PALEO & WHOLE30 diet or lifestyle.
My husband is a big fan of peppers and asks for me to create pepper dishes for him quite regularly. I made this dish for him to enjoy when he finished work late at night. What’s great about this dish is that it tastes even better the next day when warmed up. All the flavours start to blend together.
RECIPE NUTRITIONAL VALUE:
It’s crucial to maintain a robust immune system in every season, not just in the winter. But it’s just as important to get enough vitamin C from our diet in the spring and summer. Vitamin C acts as a natural histamine and immune system booster. Taking this vitamin will help to alleviate allergy symptoms in the spring and summer.
When we think about supporting our immune system, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) immediately comes to mind. We visualize oranges. Vitamin C improves immune health by making antibodies that help to destroy viruses and bacteria and help clear infected cells in our body.
Oranges are not the only source of vitamin C. Many other foods contain this water-soluble vitamin, such as tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kiwifruit, and red and green bell peppers.
Did you know that gram for gram, fresh thyme has three times more vitamin C than oranges? This herb offers one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of all the culinary herbs. It’s easier to eat one fresh orange than a handful of fresh thyme.
But the point is we often associate our getting vitamin C from fruit. We fail to remember that we can get a good dose of this vitamin from other foods and savoury dishes.
For example, preparing dishes like Creamy Lemon Thyme Chicken offers an added vitamin C dose to your daily intake. By sprinkling about one tablespoon of fresh thyme on this dish, you get about 3.9 milligrams of vitamin C. The tablespoon of fresh lemon juice used in the preparation of this dish also brings up your vitamin C intake by another 53 milligrams. This amount doesn’t seem like much, but every little bit counts toward keeping your immune system healthy.
Red and green bell peppers are a powerful source of vitamin C. A cup of raw red peppers provides about 317 percent of the recommended daily value (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture).
Red peppers are also a great source of carotenoids, polyphenols, and other phytochemicals. Cooking bell peppers does break down some of the vitamin C, but cooking also builds its carotenoids and ferulic acid, thus helping to prevent chronic diseases. Green bell peppers deliver about 200 percent of our daily intake of vitamin C.
Red, green, yellow, and orange bell peppers will enhance a whole range of savoury dishes. How about Roasted Red Pepper Soup served either hot in winter or chilled as gazpacho in the summer? Top this soup with a hefty dollop of crumbled goat cheese (or vegan goat cheese), a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a teaspoon of fresh thyme. Delicious! Or how about red bell pepper brownies? Have you ever considered adding red peppers to your orange and cranberry muffins?
RECIPE TASTE PROFILE:
The predominant taste profile of this dish is fattiness due to the meat sauce and cheeses.
DIRTY-BIRDY WINE PARTNER (FOR THOSE FOLLOWING DIRTY-PALEO AND DIRTY-WHOLE30)
The meat sauce in this dish is quite heavy, thus deserving of a full-bodied, smooth red wine. Choose ones like Amarone, Shiraz, Merlot, Tempranillo, or Cabernet Franc.
Red, green, yellow, and orange peppers can be stuffed with a whole range of ingredient combinations to satisfy your palate and provide a good source of vitamin C.
FEW STUFFED PEPPER IDEAS:
Here are a few ideas:
- Diced bacon and eggs
- Buffalo chicken cubes with cauliflower rice, diced mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella) and topped with sour cream (vegan sour cream)
- Baby turkey meatballs, diced mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella), and marinara sauce
- Chicken cubes, broccoli, cauliflower rice, and shredded cheddar (or cheddar substitute)
- Chicken cubes, cauliflower rice, grated fresh Parmigiano or (Parma, a plant-based Parmigiano), and shredded mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella)
- Cheesesteak, prepared with steak slices, sauteed diced mushrooms, sauteed diced onion, Italian seasoning, and topped with melted mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella)
- Chicken cubes, spinach, artichoke, shredded mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella), and grated fresh Parmigiano (or vegan mozzarella and Parma – plant-based Parmigiano)
- Ground turkey, cauliflower rice, garlic, marinara, and mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella)
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 40
- Yield: 4 to 6
- Category: PALEO & WHOLE30
- Method: BAKING
- Cuisine: DINNER
- Diet: Gluten Free
Olive oil (for greasing ovenproof skillet)
4 bell peppers, halved and cored
1/2 lb. cooked cauliflower rice*
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups favourite low sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cups homemade Paleo & Whole30 Vegan Parmesan*
1 1/2 cups shredded vegan or nut mozzarella**
*Check out this blog for the Paleo & Whole30 Vegan Parmesan recipe:
**Check out this blog for the Paleo & Whole30 Vegan Shreddable Mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400° F (204 C). Grease ovenproof skillet with olive oil. Place eight halved peppers in skillet. Set aside. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook rotini according to package instructions. Drain and set in a bowl.
In another large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink.
Add tomato sauce. Let simmer 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in cooked cauliflower rice and vegan parmesan.
Drizzle peppers with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fill each with cauliflower rice/sauce mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, until peppers soften and rice/sauce mixture is heated.
Remove from the oven. Top peppers with shredded vegan or nut mozzarella. Bake another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
The recipe baking temperature and time is an estimate. Follow your own oven’s temperature and cooking time. It takes a gas oven 10-15 minutes to reach the desired temperature. Electric ovens can take 10 minutes longer than that. The age of your oven will also determine the temperature, time for roasting or baking, and where you want to place your dish in the oven. The bottom of your oven may be hotter than the top, depending on its condition. This also includes where to set your dish under the broiler. So use your own best judgment based on the type, condition, and age of your oven. Prep times will also vary depending on how slow or quickly you like to work.
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