Originally from Diane Sanfilippo’s “Practical Paleo”
I love cookbooks. All those gorgeous photos of amazing food. I get inspired to cook new and different meals for me and my family. But once the knives start chopping and the pots and pans come out I get so caught up I often forget, or am just too lazy, to look at the actual recipe while I’m cooking. The results are most often delicious and sometimes disastrous, but they’re always unique.
For example, tonight’s dinner is Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers. I originally made them from the recipe in “Practical Paleo” except I added mushrooms and what I thought were diced tomatoes in my pantry was actually tomato sauce. They were a little runny but were an instant favorite with all three of us.
Now I’m making them again, but my cookbook was all the way across the kitchen and I just didn’t want to be bothered to go get it and find the recipe (see, lazy). I was pretty sure I remembered everything, and what I didn’t remember I could just make up on my own.
The verdict? It’s a home run!
Since it was such a hit, here’s my improvised version of Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers:
4 large red bell peppers, halved, stems and pith removed
1-2 Tbsp. butter or ghee
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place pepper halves on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side down. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter or ghee in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and yellow pepper, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium-high heat until soft (about 5 minutes). Add minced garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add ground beef and a little more salt. Cook just until meat is browned through. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook another few minutes then add basil. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until roasted peppers are done.
Reduce oven heat to 350 F. Remove peppers from oven and turn over so cut side is facing up. Scoop meat mixture into peppers. Return to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.
These are also great as leftovers for lunch the next day!
If you’re not eating paleo, top these with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese for the last couple of minutes.