Friday, September 23, 2011



4 Red Bell Peppers
4 Green Bell Peppers
1-2 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 can Rotello, your choice of heat
1 yellow onion, diced
Pepper trimmings, diced (see below)
Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, Seasoned Salt, Garlic, Pepper
5-6 cups cooked brown rice
6-8 slices or 8oz shredded fat-free cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut off tops of all bell peppers, remove membranes and seeds, trim pepper strips off of pepper caps and dice those (a habit I picked up to avoid being a wasty-waster), dry bell peppers with a paper towel and invert on another paper towel to drain inside.

Dump all ingredients except beef, whole peppers, cheese and rice into a bowl and mix. Season this mixture to taste with above seasonings. (I make mine a bit too hot, pre-rice and pre-meat, so it turns out just right with those things added in!) Stir in two cups of rice. Reserve half of this mixture in a freezer bag and use it next time you make this dish.

Add beef to remaining tomato base, combining thoroughly with your hands (like meatloaf, without the bread products) and set aside. (Hands too dirty for pic. Ewww!)

Arrange your bell peppers in the baking dish(es) so that they are sitting fairly level. Roll up aluminum foil as a prop if your peppers will not sit up on their own. Add 1/2-1 slice of cheese (or 1 oz shredded) to the bottom of each bell pepper.

Top with 1/3 cup brown rice. Press down firmly with a spoon or your fingers. Divide meat mixture into 8 portions and press into peppers. If you're a measurer, it was about 2/3 of a cup of meat mixture for each pepper, because I have large meal-sized peppers.

(With brown rice added and a whole slice of fat free Mozzarella wrapped around the inside. See the nifty foil ring?)
(With the meat mixture crammed in. Added a green pepper strip. Yes, I made a worm in the apple reference. But it was cute until it burnt in the cooking process.)

Pour a water bath halfway up your baking container or halfway up the side of your dish, whichever is shallower. This will help the peppers cook, keep them from sticking (much) and keep everything moist and un-burnt.

(Ha! Action pic!)

Bake FOREVER!!! I time it at an hour and check 15 minutes after that. After an hour and 15 minutes, the meat was fully cooked (the part that can make you sick) but the peppers were still more crisp than I would like. (But I had to head out to work! Done is good!) You'll know it's close to being finished when the meat mixture pulls away from the pepper and expands upward. And when the pepper gets wrinkly.

Note: Even if you make this with non-Power Foods, it would still only be 9 WWPointsPlus Points. But if you're doing the Simply Filling option and use all Power Foods, and stick to one of this recipe's huge peppers as your meal, then you don't even count the points!

Note 2: These also freeze and nuke exceptionally well. I made a pouch out of aluminum foil and placed the wrapped pepper in a freezer bag after it was completely cool. When you want one, just unwrap it and pop it in the microwave. My half-pepper nuke time was around 5 minutes, so these whole peppers will definitely take longer.

Style Note: I accidentally on purpose used a half-slice of Pepper Jack in each of the green peppers. I'll just count it as a couple extra weekly points when I eat those. Trust me, if these are yummy as they smell, it'll be worth it! My eyes are burning out from the baking of so many peppers.

Style Note 2: When I make "normal" stuffed peppers (not the ones I've made for WW), I use crackers and ketchup in the meat mixture, plus instead of a water bath, they get tomato sauce with a tiny bit of water mixed in. And I periodically dump this mixture over the baking (or stovetop cooking) peppers.

Style Note 3: Avoid putting any cheese ON TOP of the peppers while they're baking. It'll burn. Wait til the end. Yes, I know, "DUH!". But I have moments, too. Don't place any cheese on top if you plan on freezing, either. That'll just form a partially-edible leather shield between you and the food you wanna eat. :)

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