There are several things that make a morning great for me. Not being woken up by a tiny person yelling at me is one. This is a rarity at this point in my life. Getting everyone out the door without tears. This one did not happen today but can generally be achieved a few days a week. And prepping a dinner that’s either ready to pop in the oven or simmering away in the slow cooker. This action makes “Morning Elizabeth” feel very accomplished and “Evening Elizabeth” feel very relieved. All positive emotions.
Last week on Minnesota Live, I shared one of my go-to recipes to prep in the morning and then bake after work – Stuffed Sweet Peppers. My version is really simple, takes just about 20 minutes to prepare and then bakes away and smells delicious. It’s also one of those comforting, hearty dishes that’s relatively inexpensive and leaves a person feeling satisfied but not weighed down after dinner. Here’s how I make them:
Stuffed Sweet Peppers
1 lb ground beef or pork
2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 1 small yellow onion $ 3 large garlic cloves – all minced by hand or in a food processor
1 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp Italian Sausage Seasoning
1 cup jasmine rice cooked according to package instructions, replacing the water with chicken broth or adding 1 tbsp Chicken Better Than Bouillon
3 sweet peppers (red, orange and or/yellow) 15 ounces marinara, either store bought or homemade
flat leaf Italian parsley, grated Parmesan & red pepper flakes for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. After about 4 minutes, add the Italian Sausage Seasoning and stir to distribute. Add the minced vegetables and cook until meat is completely browned and vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, cut the peppers in half lengthwise, removing the stem, seeds and ribs. Arrange the peppers in a 9×13 pan, cut side up. Pour the meat mixture and the rice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Fill each pepper half with the filling, mounding it on top and don’t worry if some falls over the sides. Pour the marinara over all of the peppers and then bake, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes – until the peppers are tender but not mushy.
You can also assemble this ahead of time and put in the fridge, baking when you’re ready. The peppers will take closer to 40 minutes in the oven if coming straight out of the fridge. Garnish with parsley, parmesan & red pepper flakes.