Lunch at Noon: Healthy Stuffed Peppers

By Monique of Walk.Run.Repeat - May 31, 2017

Hubby and I are in the midst of a health challenge via Mr. Shut Up and Train. This means I need to get really creative with our meal choices and I decided to remix an oldie but goodie: stuffed peppers. Personally, I'm not a fan of stuffed peppers but my husband loves them. In an effort to help him with lunch, I made some alterations to my typical recipe:

You want to start with bright green, scratch-free green peppers with even bottoms. The bottoms should be level so that they don't tilt. If they do, simply trim the "nubby" parts until the pepper stands upright.

After removing the tops, dice them up (no sense in wasting them) with your veggies. I used jalapeños and red onions. Toss them in with some ground chicken (a better alternative to beef) and cook until done.

While the chicken cooks, boil about a cup and a half of brown rice. The key is to cook the rice until almost done because its going to cook some more in the oven once we add everything together.

If I do my southwest recipe, Del Monte makes a great chili seasoned sauce that I like to use. It gives it the perfect amount of "zest".

Since I was going for a more robust flavor I used Hunt's Meatloaf Sauce. I know this seems weird, but hear me out. Regular tomato sauce is good but doesn't have much depth as a seasoned sauce to me. I love meatloaf and discovered that this sauce really packs the punch when doing something like this. Once the chicken was browned, I added the sauce in and let it simmer for a bit.

Now we're really cooking! Give it all a good stir and let simmer for a bit with the rice added.

After the simmer and mix, move to a bowl and add a bit of cheese. I mixed parmesan and mozzarella (since that's all I had in the fridge). I mixed gently so that the cheese combined well.

After mixing, you want to prep your peppers. Some people blanch theirs (dip into hot water for a few seconds and then drop in cold water to stop the cooking process). I don't do this. My husband likes a little crunch so I put my mixture directly in. The peppers will soften up quite a bit while in the oven so it all works out. I add a little cheese to the bottom of the peppers to add a nice surprise while eating.

Using a teaspoon, I start filling the peppers. I refer to use a teaspoon so that I can push the mixture into all the crevices, leaving no area unfilled. How great does this look?

Top it with a little cheese and a little more sauce for added measure. I would even recommend adding some breadcrumbs to the top for some crunch. Put some sauce in the bottom of the pan and bake in the oven at 415 degrees until done.

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