Saturday, May 6, 2017

Stuffed Southwestern Bell Peppers - Grain Free

This was one of the first main dishes I made using "faux rice" - otherwise known as grated or chopped cauliflower.  And let me tell you - I had my doubts about what it would really taste like.  The good thing is that I don't mind cauliflower - I actually like it most of the time so I was trying to keep an open mind.  BUT..... I was totally surprised. What happens, at least in this case, is that the cauliflower takes on the flavors that surround it - so you end up tricking your palate. Sure the texture is different, but when the taste is there, you really don't mind! I served it to my youngest son for our standard "family" Sunday dinner and he loved it!

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers
adapted from "The Grain-Free Family Table" by Carrie Vitt

2 T. coconut oil
6 green onions, cut in quarter inch slices, with the white and green parts separated
1 lb. grass fed ground beef (it is worth the extra money to buy quality meat)
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 c. riced cauliflower (grated or chopped)**
1 small can diced green chilies (have always used Ortega or La Victoria)
2 c. grated Mexican blend cheese (the recipe called for Jack cheese, but I like the blend of cheddar and jack)
1/2 t. Celtic sea salt
4 large red, yellow, orange or green peppers, cut in half lengthwise with seeds removed
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt (you can use sour cream)
1/2 c. salsa (use your favorite)

**I like to take the cauliflower florets and grate them  in the food processor. It's easy and not quite as messy doing it that way.  And it's quick too. One head of cauliflower will yield about three cups of "cauli-rice".

Preheat the oven to 375. You want to bake this in the middle of the oven so change the rack if needed.

In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the white parts of the green onions, half of the green parts (the remaining are garnish) and the ground beef.  Cook until there is no pink remaining in the meat.  Push the meat and onions over to the side of the pan, and place the cumin and garlic in the center of the pan.  Stir until the spice aroma is released and smells wonderful (about a minute) and then mix the meat into it. Add the grated or riced cauliflower, the canned chilies (drained), part of the cheese (about one cup) and the salt to the pan and stir just until they are all mixed well.



The peppers all lined up - just waiting to be filled.


Put the peppers cut side up in a 13x9 inch pan.  Divide the filling mixture evenly between the peppers.  Pour 1/2 cup hot water in the bottom of the baking dish, being careful not to get any into the peppers!  Cover the peppers with a sheet of parchment and then cover the parchment with a piece of foil and seal tightly over the top of the dish.  Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and parchment and top each pepper with a spoonful of sour cream and salsa and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top of each. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  Sprinkle the remaining green parts of the onions over the peppers and serve and enjoy.

These are so yummy and reheat well too!



This is how they look ready to go into the oven - so colorful and good too!


Melted cheese makes everything better!





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I am a mother to three and Grammy to two beautiful granddaughters and one very handsome little grandson.  Was born and raised in southern California and am happy to call it home.  I fill my days with volunteer work, paper crafting, needlework of all kinds and cooking and baking.   I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who fill my heart on a daily basis.