My son and I were at The Big Carrot a couple of weeks ago. They had these big beautiful green peppers on sale, perfect for stuffing. I brought home 4 of them to do just that! I make stuffed peppers in many versions and often, vegan, vegetarian, with lots of veg and potato, or rice. They are so comforting and quick to heat up when you are in that “I want the taste of home” feeling.
This time I was in a meat and rice vibe. I had organic ground turkey from Rowe farms in the freezer, and in my cupboard, this wonderful organic long grain brown Basmati rice from India (has very little arsenic in this area of the world), called “Falak”, found at Iqbal. I cooked up the rice in my Zojirushi rice cooker while I prepped the peppers. This rice pairs well with the turkey and Italian spices such as whole fennel seed, fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs.
I love the rich sweet flavour of a slow cooked organic tomato sauce This is achieved in my Dutch oven, the same pot as the peppers. It all comes together with a thick zesty tomato sauce for dipping. Once they slow cook in a 350 degree F oven, I freeze them individually in small baggies to be reheated in the oven or in a microwave. They are just wonderful with homey flavours, textures, and taste. Here’s how it all came together.
Stuffed Green Peppers with Traditional Italian Flavours
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb turkey, ground (or whatever ground meat you enjoy)
3 cups cooked long grain brown basmati rice, any cooked rice will work
1 sprig rosemary leaves, chopped fine
4 sprigs thyme leaves, pulled
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, or to taste
1 carrot, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
2 teaspoons garlic, powdered
freshly ground pepper and Himalayan Sea Salt
4 large green peppers, tops cut off about ½ inch, seeds and membranes removed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet
Add fresh rosemary and thyme
Fry onions until translucent
Add garlic, carrot, celery
Add fennel seeds and powdered garlic
Add turkey, season with salt and pepper, then cook until brown
4 tablespoons tomato sauce, see below
Take off heat and mix in rice, season with salt, pepper, garlic, if necessary
Set aside while you prepare the peppers.
Stuff the peppers tightly, put the top piece that you cut off on the pepper and secure with a toothpick or small metal skewer.
Slow Cooked Italian Tomato Sauce
1 28 oz can pure organic tomato puree (unseasoned), reserve 4 heaping tablespoons and stir into the filling. I used diced tomatoes and puree them in my Vitamix or blender.
1 tablespoon powdered garlic
1 sprig rosemary, chopped fine
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a Dutch oven or wide large pot.
Put the stuffed peppers on the sauce.
Cover and slow cook for 1 hour or more. The sauce will become very rich and tangy.
Pool the sauce on a plate or in a bowl, place a pepper on top and enjoy!