Italian Stuffed Peppers

Source: Cooking Matters

Serving size: Serves 6, 1 stuffed pepper half per serving

Bell peppers are in season now. This recipe is loaded with nutrients and tastes delicious!

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Ingredients

3 large bell peppers

1/2 small bell pepper (any color)

8 ounces mushrooms

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese

12 ounces 93% lean ground turkey

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, no salt added

1/2 cup instant brown rice

1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves or thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup water

Nonstick cooking spray

Materials

Sharp knife Measuring spoons Cutting board Liquid measuring cup Cheese grater Large skillet Colander 9x13-inch baking dish Can opener Foil Measuring cups

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Rinse peppers and mushrooms. Cut large peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Finely chop bell pepper half. Finely chop mushrooms.

3. Peel onion and garlic. Finely chop onion and mince garlic.

4. Grate cheese. Set aside.

5. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook turkey, finely chopped bell pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic, crumbling turkey with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the turkey is browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

6. In a colander, drain off liquid and return to the pan. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, parsley or thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

7. Put 1/4 cup water in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place the pepper halves, cut side up, in the baking dish. Divide turkey mixture among the pepper halves. Sprinkle each pepper half with 2 tablespoons cheese.

8. Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover baking dish with the foil, sprayed side down. Bake until peppers are tender-crisp, about 30 minutes.

Notes

Change up the veggies in this dish depending on whats on hand and whats in seasonfinely chopped broccoli or cauliflower, shredded carrot, shredded or finely chopped zucchini or dark leafy greens would all be good substitutes. Try using other quick-cooking whole grains instead of instant brown rice, like quickcooking barley, whole-wheat couscous and quinoa. Adjust cooking time accordingly in Step 5. Make your own Tomato Sauce.

More About Bell Peppers

How to Select

Choose peppers that are brightly colored and firm with tight skin. Avoid dull or shriveled peppers.

How to Store

Refrigerate bell peppers and use within 5 days. To freeze, remove seeds, cut, and store in plastic bags.

How to Prepare

Rinse in cold water. Peppers can be eaten raw, grilled, baked or sauteed. Add them to pizzas, scrambled eggs or salads. Stuff and bake them for a delicious meal!