Growing up one of my favorite meals was my Grandma’s stuffed peppers. They are super comforting and easy to prepare. I put a healthy twist on the meal by pairing the peppers with cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

For the tomato sauce (you can also use your favorite jarred marinara sauce for convenience):

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the peppers:

  • 4 medium-size red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin or turkey breast
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the sauce, heat a saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Gently sauté the onions until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the homemade or jarred marinara sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  5. To prepare the peppers, cut off the tops and remove the seeds and membrane.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the filling. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the ground beef or ground turkey to the pan and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until almost cooked through. Drain off most of the fat.
  7. Add the onions to the pan and cook until softened. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook an additional minute until you smell the garlic.
  8. Stir in the ketchup, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Using a spoon, fill each pepper to the top with the meat and vegetable mixture. Place the filled peppers right into the baking dish with the sauce, and top with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake until the peppers have softened, and the cheese has melted, about 30 minutes.
  11. Serve with Cauliflower Mash (recipe follows).

Cauliflower Mash

Makes 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 garlic clove (roasted garlic is delicious)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut cream from a can
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring two cups of water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower florets. Simmer until the florets are fork tender, about 12-15 minutes. You can also use a steamer.
  2. Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a highspeed blender or food processor.
  3. Add the coconut cream, oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Blend or pulse until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Taste and adjust as needed. You can experiment with your favorite fresh and dried herb combinations or truffle salt.

Stuffed Peppers and Cauliflower Mash Recipe by Erin Clifford Wellness

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