Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On the menu today

It is a freezing cold day here in Connecticut and that's a perfect day to turn the oven on. I have been using my slow cooker three times a week lately...thank you Pinterest, but not today. I ran into Stop & Shop yesterday and saw that they had a big sale on red peppers and ground beef, I knew immediately what was on today's menu! 

Stuffed Peppers (with steel cut oats)
Oatmeal, in stuffed peppers? Don’t knock it until you try it! I use steel cut oats in place of bread crumb. Cut oats are very low in fat, high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and also makes the pepper stuffing very light and moist. I may be wrong but they might even be gluten free.

1 lb ground beef- lean*
½ dry cut oats cooked according to pkg.
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic crushed
Fresh parsley chopped
Peppers- 3-4 large red or green, 6-7 small cubanelles
2 cups marinara sauce
¼ cup grated pecorino or parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I use reduced fat)
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef with garlic, onion, salt & pepper. Drain off fat. Mix with cooked oats, parsley and grated cheese. Cut the large peppers in half, lengthwise like boats, removing the stem. Cubanelles can be left whole after removing stems and seeds.

Fill peppers with stuffing and place in a 9x13 pan. Spoon sauce over each pepper, letting it seep in between and around the peppers. Top with shredded mozzarella and some grated cheese.

 Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 for 35 minutes**. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until peppers are tender and cheese is all melty and bubbly. Adjust temp and time according to your oven, mine has a mind of it's own.
*Normally I would use extra lean ground beef and mix it raw with an egg and add it to other stuffing ingredients; however, the 80% lean is what was on sale and I just don't like how greasy it tastes when I make it that way so I have browned it prior to stuffing. This will give you a looser finished stuffing. Both ways taste great, you decide how you will like it best.
**This recipe is great for freezing and can also be cooked in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hrs using less sauce and removing the lid for the last half hour to let some of the moisture cook out.

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