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Stuffed Baby Peppers

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2200 stuffed peppers overhead

How cute are these? Really, these are a great hors d’oeuvre or appetizer, but we liked them so much, we ate them for dinner… it was a good thing I made a lot of them…   Even though my idea was to serve these as an appetizer, they were so good, we ate them for the meal!  I guess, if you think about it, they really are a one-pot kind of a complete meal; the vegetables and the meat are all in a one neat little package.

These peppers are stuffed with a really flavorful pork filling. There are no grains to dilute the meatiness of this filling.  It’s just a big meaty bite, with now rice to muck up the flavors.  Instead of using a real dairy cheese, I used daiya mozzarella cheese which, in this dish, tastes like the real thing. If you’ve never tried this cheese substitute (it’s tapioca based), this is a great dish to start with.

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately,  consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. I used chopped pork for the filling. Pork also helps strengthen the digestion and is good for constipation. Pork also can help boost energy, but I’m sure they would be just as tasty with any kind of ground meat you have on hand.

I softened my peppers in some hot oil in a pan, but I think the next time I make this I will roast them in the oven or char them on the grill; I think it will work just as well and it won’t require as much oil… if you try it this way, please let me know how it works!

Take your peppers and blister them in some oil…
2200 baby peppers in pan beginning2200 baby pepper charred plate

Dice a poblano pepper…
2200 poblano pepper whole

Add it to a pan with ground pork and spices. Saute for a few minutes, then add the cheese (I used Daiya non-dairy mozzarella)…
ground pork pepper filling w daiya pan

Stuff the peppers and bake them in the oven for a bit…
2200 stuffed peppers close up

Then, let’s see if you end up eating them as an appetizer, or if they will be your dinner too…
2200 stuffed peppers little closer overhead

Enjoy!
2200 stuffed peppers angle

Stuffed Baby Peppers
(makes about 30)
recipe adapted from: Food Network Magazine

2-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
about 30 baby bell peppers
1 small onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 Tbs ketchup
10 oz ground pork
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers in a single layer and cook, letting them brown and blister on one side before turning them over to blister on the other side. Remove them to a plate.

Add the onion, poblano, garlic, cumin, basil, chile powder, salt and turmeric to the pan. Stir about 2 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the pork, stirring until it’s cooked through. Stir in the ketchup. Cook 1-minute more. Shut off the heat and stir in the cilantro and cheese.

Make a slit on one side of each pepper from stem to tip, being careful not to slice through to the other side of the pepper. Using a spoon or your hands, stuff some of the pork mixture into each pepper, making sure each one is full. Place the stuffed peppers into a baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes or until they are hot.

Feel free to make these the day before you want to eat them, because the leftovers were great! Enjoy!

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