I make no secret of the fact that I love to eat. A lot.
Conveniently, I also love to cook. Mind you, I very much enjoy going out to dinner and do so at least once a week, but frankly, I think that would get boring very quickly. Not to mention expensive. So the whole loving to cook thing comes in extremely handy for keeping costs down and trying new things. Even Weight Watchers is less difficult to manage when I can tempt myself with delicious new recipes! But sometimes, I have to allow Mr.Me some input into the menu. And by allow, I mean pester him endlessly until he gets so sick of my asking that he tosses something, ANYTHING, at me to include. And his brain is less Weight Watchers wired than mine, so his suggestions are usually more comfort food than anything.
I am completely good with this.
This week his suggestion was stuffed peppers. Turns out I can lighten those up at least some which makes me happy, and the real reason for the suggestion is what I do with the leftovers. That makes me not CARE how light I manage to make them because I know I have two nights of complete and utter deliciousness to look forward to. I should also probably explain the somewhat ironic part to this- I am not, as a rule, a big fan of leftovers. I’ve eaten them much more lately in an effort to keep lunch from getting completely blah with frozen dinners, but they aren’t my favorite. Except for stuffed peppers. I’m entirely convinced that I actually like the leftovers better than I like the original meal for this one.
Several years back, it occurred to me the contents of my baking dish had the potential to become a really REALLY good soup. And it takes almost no effort what so ever to do this. All I do is mangle up the leftover peppers, put them in a pot with a can of diced tomatoes and enough beef broth to make it soupy. Often I make saffron rice to go with the peppers on meal night so I’ll throw the leftover rice into the pot as well for a bit of extra bulk to the soup. Ladle it up, serve it with a side of crusty bread if you’re so inclined and tuck in to a comforting bowl of soup. What could be better than that?
And while I don’t really use a recipe, I’ll at least offer up a vague basis for my stuffed peppers. We are a household of 2 bipeds so you may need to upsize if you’re feeding more.
- 4 Red Bell Peppers (I prefer the milder flavor of red to traditional green but you can use whatever suits your fancy)
- 1/2lb ground turkey
- 1/2lb ground veal (again, I change up the meats frequently, whatever suits will work, I just aim for a pound total)
- 1/4 c instant rice
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- salt, pepper and any other seasoning you like
- 1/2 c shredded cheese, again, what you like. This time I used Reduced fat Italian blend, often it’s cheddar, whatever I have on hand
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Hot Pepper Sauce
- 1 can of tomato soup
My standard process is to slice the tops off the peppers (reserve these!), seed them then parboil them for 6-8 minutes then toss ’em into an ice water bath to cool them down. In the mean time I mix up the stuffing. Dice the tops of the pepper fine to add into the stuffing. Combine everything else BUT the tomato soup. I stir a couple tablespoons of the soup into the stuffing mix for flavor and the rest becomes the sauce. Stuff 1/4 of the meat mixture into each cooled, dried pepper shell, stir some Worcestershire sauce into the remaining tomato soup and pour this over the peppers. Bake the whole schemer at 350 for an hour or until the stuffing is cooked through. Being a Wisconsin girl, it’s not at all unusual for me to top the peppers with some additional cheese for the last 10 minutes or so of baking time. This will add extra deliciousness to the soup later. Trust me!
I can’t WAIT until soup night!