I’m Croatian, so I grew up eating stuffed peppers. A lot. Truth-be-told however, I never really liked them. As a matter of fact I pretty much loathed Punjena paprika growing up. I only begrudgingly ate them, because I was raised by a Croatian grandmother and mother and pretty much knew better then to push the issue too much.
I have been on a health kick lately and having chopped up a lot of peppers for the salads that I make for lunch at work, I’ve come to the realization that… I actually like peppers, a lot in fact. So tonight I thought maybe its not stuffed peppers that I hated, but just the way that my grandma makes them (sorry baka.) Afterall I always did like the ground beef or sometimes pork stuffing part.
I’m all out of Vegeta though and even though it tastes freaking awesome, I don’t think that stuff is very good for you. So trying to make them some-what healthy-ish, here is what I put together :
2 lg green bell peppers
6 sm. to med. assorted peppers
2 md. red onions
1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 cup instant brown rice
1 vegetable broth (to cook the rice)
a few dashes of sea salt
a few dashes of crushed black pepper
a few healthy teaspoons of chopped garlic
a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
a few dashes of hot sauce
a couple sprinkles of crushed chili peppers
a teaspoon or so of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut out stem ends of bell peppers and discard. Scoop out seeds. Set aside.
- Toss rice & vegetable broth in large bowl and stick in microwave for 6 minutes (or until cooked)
- While rice is cooking toss 1 chopped onion, stewed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, some garlic and hot sauce in blender. Blend to a salsa-like consistency.
- Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.Toss on some chopped garlic, About 3 minutes.
- When rice is done add to ground chicken, also add 1 chopped onion, salt, black pepper & crushed red pepper. Mix. Stick in skillet and cook just until it loses its pink color, about 3 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat, add sauce and mix. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place them in casserole dish. Pour a little bit of vegetable broth in dish, cover and bake until the peppers are tender about 40 minutes. I didn’t pre-boil the peppers because I want them to stay somewhat crunchy when finished and not soggy.