June 10, 2014
Stuffed Italian Sweet Peppers ♥ The Mushroom Council's "The Trend is to Blend" Recipe Redux Sponsored Contest
When the Recipe Redux joined with The Mushroom Council's "The Trend is to Blend" promotion, they asked us to show our love of mushrooms by sharing recipes that blend diced, chopped or minced mushrooms in place of some portion of meat or other lean protein using the "blendability technique" to make a healthier dish OR swap out all of the meat protein in a recipe to make a vegetarian dish featuring fresh mushrooms, I knew it was time to showcase this mushroom/meat blended recipe. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more. For an excellent source of all things mushrooms, you should visit this site.
"By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."
My husband forbade me from messing with my meatball recipe and for years I tinkered with using a three meat blend (he did not like that at all), adding oats (oh boy, no way!) and I even ground my own strip steak meat. I never tried again .......... Until now.
Since my meatball mixture follows the same basic preparation as what I use to stuff peppers, stuffed peppers was what I started with. I thought it best to up the odds in my direction without daring to breathe the word "meatball".
I will say three things......he devoured these!!
Before I could take a pic of my plate he was fare la scarpetta (scooping the last morsel with bread), it was that good.
When I prodded him for more information, he told me he tasted only meat and the spices and they were great, as usual. Then he asked me why I wanted to know. I usually like my own cooking, but I even surprised myself how out-of-this-world-good and when I did the calculations, how oober healthy they were. I can't wait to share this recipe with everyone I know!!
BTW - I had to stop him from taking these for lunch, just in case I got a bad picture. He will be happy to know that his lunch for tomorrow has been packed to go.
Makes: 16 Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers or 4 Large Bell Peppers (4 servings)
* 1 package of button mushrooms, roughly chopped (about 3 ounces cooked)
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 pound lean ground meat (white turkey or chicken, lean ground sirloin beef or seitan)
* 1/4 cup quinoa flakes or 1/2 cup leftover cooked quinoa
* 5 crackers with flax seeds or your favorite (I use gluten-free, about 1/4 cup crushed)
* 1/4 large onion, grated or 1/3 cup minced
* 1 large garlic cloves, grated
* 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning blend
* 2 tablespoons ketchup
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
* 2 teaspoons chia seeds (optional)
* 1 large egg
* 2 ounces pureed carrots (1/2 small jar of baby food)
* 16 mini sweet peppers (2-lb bag or 4 large bell peppers)
* 2/3 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic
1. Place the mushrooms in the bowl of a processor; pulse until a fine mince. Remove to a saute pan, add the olive oil and over medium-high heat until the mushrooms start to brown on the edges. Remove pan to cool.
2. Using the same processor bowl, add the crackers and pulse them to a crumb. Scrap the crumbs into a large bowl (big enough to hold all the ingredients). Reuse the same processor bowl to process the raw onion and garlic and also add them to the crackers.
3. One by one, add the meat, quinoa flakes, ketchup, Dijon mustard, egg, pureed carrots, the cooked and cooled mushrooms, the chia seeds (optional) and the salt & pepper. Gently mix with a large spoon and allow the mixture to rest (in the fridge), covered for 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to come together and the mixture to firm up. It will still be moist but hold it's shape.
4. Slice a horizontal piece off the mini peppers and the top of the large ones; spoon in the stuffing. Lay the peppers in a large baking pan, touching side-by-side and spoon the tomatoes evenly into the spaces between the peppers and the pan taking care to not cover the stuffing. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350°. Check for moisture and add water to the tomatoes if needed, then uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more at 375°.
Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and spoonful of sauce.