At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

Last night I gave my kids a choice: I would make stuffed green peppers or hamburger minestrone.  To my surprise, they picked the peppers.  After years of feeding them "weird", healthy food, they are pretty much game for anything.  I used to make these with extra filling baked in a pan so the kids didn't have to eat the pepper, but this time Olivia said "Make sure I get a pepper, Mom."  

I did have a hard time actually buying the peppers at the grocery store instead of using fresh from Red Goose Gardens or raiding my freezer for our summer leftovers.  I noticed a huge difference in the taste, too.  These were definitely not as fresh as we get straight from the farm, but I guess beggars can't be choosers when you're buying produce in January in Minnesota.

Stuffed Green Peppers (Makes 5 pepper halves)
1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
6 green  peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded.  Chop 1 pepper half.
1 T. minced garlic
1 packet taco seasoning
2 c. cooked rice, orzo or quinoa (this time I used quinoa but have used brown rice and orzo as well)
1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used a cheddar/pepper jack mixture)

Brown hamburger with onion, garlic and 1/2 chopped pepper. Meanwhile, boil a 2 quart pot of water.  Blanch peppers for about 2 minutes in boiling water.  (Put the peppers in the water and cook for a few minutes.  This ensures that they aren't still raw when you eat them.)  Remove from water and set aside.  When hamburger is cooked, stir in taco seasoning, a little water and cooked rice or quinoa. Stir until seasoning is mixed in and water is absorbed.  Fill pepper shells with meat mixture, being careful not to burn your fingers!  Top with shredded cheese and bake in a 400 oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is brown and bubbly. 

These are a great way to get more veggies in your diet without feeling like you are eating only a salad for every meal.  I have also used large tomatoes as the shells in a pinch (when I have a lot in the summer).  They tend to get a little mushy but the family loves them.

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