I think I am in love with stuffed peppers. Move over bacon…there is a new love in town. Well…I take that back..bacon is still the king but these stuffed peppers definitely fall into the “made me fall in love” category.
The peppers I made were inspired by this recipe. My recipe is a much lighter version of her recipe. None of us in my family workout as hard as Jessica and so it is only fair that we also not eat like Jessica.
Nonetheless, they turned out perfectly delicious. When I make it again, and you can bet I will make it again, I can feel great about feeding the family a delicious and yet healthy meal.
3 large peppers
1 pound ground chicken
2.5 cups pasta marinara sauce (any time of tomato based pasta sauce will work fine. I just happened to have marinara sauce at home). You can use a lot more as well.
1 cup skimmed milk
1 cup of shredded cheese
1.5 cups finely diced onions
1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp cumin
1.5-2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
2 portobello mushrooms, washed, cleaned (remove the ribs on the bottom), dried and diced into tiny pieces
Few sprigs of thyme (basil will work as well. I just like the edgier flavor of thyme)
salt to taste
2.5 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and chopped onion, sauteing until soft – about 5 minutes.
Add ginger-garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chili powder, turmeric and cumin seeds. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the chopped portobello mushrooms. Saute for a minute and then add the wine and Worcestershire sauce.
Cook till the wine is reduced by half or more
Add the ground chicken and mix. Cook till the chicken is completely browned. This could take 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally
Add salt to taste
While chicken is cooking, mix the tomato sauce with the milk and cheese. Stir in the thyme sprigs. Cook on a low flame till the mixture is boiling. Turn off the flame and set aside.
Remove the thyme sprigs from the tomato sauce and add a couple tablespoons to the chicken mixture
Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the peppers, stuffing them to the top. Place in a dish that allows the peppers to stand. Spoon a bit of tomato cream sauce over the tops, and pour the rest of the sauce into the bottom of the pan. Top the peppers with some cheese, if you so wish
Set the tops gently back on the peppers. Bake for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 30 more.
Serve with mashed potatoes on the side.
Please note, knowing that I would be serving the peppers with mashed potatoes, I did not stuff them with rice. I did not feel the need for more carbs. Also, in my version of the mashed potatoes, I did not use cream, I use skimmed milk. The potatoes turned out delicious.