Sometimes I get a hankering for something and decide that I need to make it. Usually what I want to make I actually haven’t eaten before. Like meatballs. Or stuffed bell pepper.
So I tried making a stuffed bell pepper dish. It was alright, nothing to write home about. But I then realized that I really didn’t like the fact that I had to cut it with a knife and fork for some reason. I liked the slightly crunchy bell pepper, and the stuffing. I just didn’t like the way it was made.
So I decided to un-stuff them.
I liked the flavor so I kept it along the same lines, but what makes this dish easier and also quicker includes the fact that I don’t bake them, but cook it in a pan. I also use couscous for this one. Mostly because the tiny beads of couscous are like a party in my mouth. And I’m lazy, it’s quick to make.
So how do you “un-stuff” a bell pepper? Demolish it of course.
I usually will only put 2 bell peppers in the whole recipe, instead of a full pepper per person. You can add more if you like but I think it crowds it a little. I like bell pepper, but not enough to eat bell peppers served with a side of sauce.
Start browning the turkey, when its almost fully cooked drain any fat (optional) and add the spices. If you are using just lean turkey breast you might want to drain the fat. If you use the 99.9% fat free, you might want to add a little olive oil so it doesn’t get too dry. Or you could just use beef. I’m using turkey… so deal with it.
Normally I use fresh garlic and onion, but I didn’t have any at the time. Just throw those in when you add all the spices and let them cook for a bit.
Next comes the sauce. I usually add a whole can of diced tomatoes and around a half can (1 cup) of tomato sauce. In general you can use what you have on hand, extra sauce, tomato paste and chicken stock, it just needs to be a little soupy/goopy.
Next comes the bell pepper. I love the bell pepper. It only has to cook for a minute or two but it just makes everything so tasty. You can cook it as much or as little as you want. It all depends on what type of texture you want. Cook it less for a slight crunch.
Ah, bliss. I like making up dishes like these! Down home comfort…kinda. Just spoon it over some couscous or rice, add some cheese and green onion if you are feeling adventurous.
This dish is great frozen for lunches, just barley cook the bell pepper though. It will cook more in the microwave as you re-heat it.
Un-Stuffed Bell Pepper
- 2 cups unprepared couscous
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 large green bell peppers diced and seeded
- Green onions, chopped
- Shredded cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
- In a pot, boil 2 cups of water. When water has started to boil, add the couscous and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet add the olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add ground turkey and break up while cooking. Add the garlic and onion to the mixture. When the onion turns translucent, add the salt and pepper to the mixture.
- When the turkey is almost cooked, add the worcestershire, chili and paprika. Stir until well mixed.
- Add the tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes making sure the turkey is broken into small pieces.
- Stir in the bell peppers and let cook for another few minutes until the peppers have softened.
- Serve over couscous and topped with cheese and green onion (optional)