I DID IT! I SURVIVED THE WHOLE 30!
And to celebrate, I saved the best (recipe) for last. This recipe was by far the FH’s favorite Whole30 recipe. In fact, I just made a huge batch of the filling so that we could enjoy these stuffed peppers later this week, even though we aren’t even on the diet anymore!
To make this “W-30 compliant”, I used cauliflower “rice” instead of real rice. These are super delicious as-is, but if you feel like that’s not something you’re into, feel free to replace the cauliflower with cooked rice or quinoa (or orzo, any grain of your choice). I also recommend topping these with cheese, which I may very well do later this week now that I’m allowed to have cheese again. (Hi, cheese!)
As another bonus, this recipe makes a ton of filling. A ton.
So, if you don’t feel like eating 6 stuffed peppers today, you can make a couple peppers tonight and freeze the rest of the filling for your future self. You know that one, the one who comes home late and has no time to make dinner… yeah, that one! Or you can make the whole recipe and eat them throughout the week – the leftovers reheat great in the microwave. Just pop them in the microwaved (covered, of course, otherwise you may anger your household microwave-cleaner) for about 2 minutes and Voila – just as good as new!
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 pound (1 medium head) cauliflower, riced
- 4 large bell peppers, halved with seeds and stems removed
- 1 jar tomato sauce (I really liked this one )
- 1 large onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Place two halves of a pepper, cut side up, onto a microwave-safe plate and cover with wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes until just starting to soften. Repeat with remaining halves of peppers; set aside until ready to fill.
- Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking pan by spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef or turkey with a generous pinch of salt until well-browned.
- Meanwhile, finely chop one of the bell peppers. Add onions and chopped bell pepper to ground meat and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir to prevent burning. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
- Add half to 3/4 of the cauliflower "rice" (it should make up about half of your total mixture) and another pinch of salt. Add chicken broth and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover loosely with foil to allow cauliflower to steam. Cook about five minutes then stir again. Continue to cook another 5 minutes uncovered, allowing any remaining liquid to cook off, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low and add about a half jar of tomato sauce (just enough to moisten the mixture) along with the parsley, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and let simmer about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
- Place peppers cut-side-up into baking dish. Fill with meat and cauliflower mixture. Top with more tomato sauce and cheese, if desired.
- Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes* until peppers are tender.
- * If baking from chilled, bake covered for 30 minutes then uncovered for the last 10 minutes.
Feel free to use cooked rice, quinoa, orzo (or any grain you like!) in place of the cauilflower - I made this for the Whole 30 where grains were outlawed so I wasn't allowed to.
Also outlawed on the Whole 30 was cheese, but these would be even better with a bit of mozzarella, fontina, or provolone mixed in (and on top).