Recipe: Slow-Carb Stuffed Peppers

slow carb stuffed peppersMy husband started on the slow carb kick last year, and it became a challenge to figure out how to make food that I enjoyed and he could eat. I’ve actually never been a fan of cooked peppers (my mom used to put them in her spaghetti sauce, which we ate on a weekly basis, and I think I just developed an aversion over time), so a stuffed pepper seemed like the last thing I’d want to eat. For some reason or other, I decided to give it a shot though. I looked through a few recipes on Pinterest, and got the general idea.

Now, here’s what I am a fan of: raiding the produce bins in my fridge and dumping everything that might be going south into one big saute pan. So that’s what I’ve done. That means those veggie ingredients down there are totally interchangeable with whatever you have on hand/love to eat. I seem to always keep yellow squash and zucchini in stock, and usually have some broccoli laying around that was purchased with the best of intentions (why does rinsing, trimming and steaming broccoli seem like a such daunting task some nights??). But any combo of veggies will do! Just make sure your veg is getting soft in the saute pan before you stuff the peppers. No one likes a crunchy veg in their stuffed pepper.

Please note that the beans are a critical step here. They are the glue that holds this whole thing together. And besides that, they make it taste like you’ve stuffed your peppers full of cheese and heavy cream and there’s no way this could be low carb. Oh, but it is. I just use a potato masher to mash them into creamy submission, but you can use the back of a fork if you’re lacking in the potato masher department.

Toddler approved? Eh, sort of. My Monster couldn’t handle chewing the actual peppers, but he loved the inside mixture. We’re still very much in the finger food stage of things, so he just kind of shared a bit of mine on the side of his regular dinner.

Ingredients

4 bell peppers, tops cut away, ribs and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup broccoli, chopped fine
1 9 oz can great northern beans, mashed
salt & pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and dry on paper towels.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, zucchini, carrots, and broccoli, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the beef, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the meat is browned, breaking up the meat into crumbles, for about 6 minutes. Add the beans and stir well. Remove from the heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the beef mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Variations

Vegan: Use diced portobello mushrooms instead of ground beef to make it vegan.

More green: Roughly chopped spinach or greens would be a good addition.

More better: Use red peppers instead. (They’re sweeter and in my husband’s opinion, tastier. But they are pricier!)

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