Emily Ivory, a college student, recently suggested a recipe be made on this blog using organic ingredients. She says, “eating organic is a great way to eat healthier and more fresh foods.”
That is how the idea of cooking stuffed bell peppers became the subject of this blog post. During the test, a few modifications were made from the original recipe found on the website, “My Organic Recipes.”
Ingredients, as found on the website:
1 chopped onion
4 chopped carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb organic ground beef
1 cup rice
1/3 cup chopped dill
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4-5 green peppers
1 can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
For the test, bay leaves and whole black pepper were omitted. It would be best to include these ingredients for flavor, but the test turned out well without these ingredients as well. Just substitute regular pepper for the whole black and continue to cook.
First, chop onions, carrots and dill and set, separately, aside. Cook the rice beforehand as well. For the test, instant brown rice was used.
Saute the onions and the carrots in a non-stick skillet for six minutes. If a skillet is not available, a pan will work but the space will be limited and eventually more containers will need to be used.
While this is cooking, in a separate pan begin preparing the pound of ground beef. This may take longer than the vegetables to cook, but it is best to begin preparing the meat around the time when the vegetables first cook.
After the first six minutes are up, continue cooking meat separately. Add all of the prepared rice to the vegetable mixture and saute for another six minutes.
The next step is to place the rice, onion and carrot mixture on top of the meat mixture. Then, add the dill, tomato paste, salt and pepper and mix all these ingredients together.
For the test, because the meat and vegetable mixture were cooked in pans instead of a deeper skillet, the meat was put into a larger bowl after being cooked and the vegetable mixture was added to the bowl. Finally, the dill, tomato paste, salt and pepper were mixed into the other ingredients.
After these ingredients are all mixed together, a separate bowl was used to mix about two cups and one fourth of a cup of water with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Add to this same bowl a couple sprinkles of salt, tomato sauce, either the black pepper originally suggested or the same amount of pepper and, optionally, bay leaves. Mix these ingredients together thoroughly.
After these ingredients are mixed, cut the tops off of the peppers. Originally, green bell peppers are used. Most bell peppers will work, but in the test recipe green bell peppers were used.
After the tops are cut off, carefully remove the white core of each pepper.
Fill each pepper with the meat, carrot and onion mixture. Then put all of the filled peppers into an oven-safe pot with a lid.
Take the separate tomato sauce mixture (as seen in the top, left background of the above picture) and pour it on top of each pepper. A lot of the juices will sink to the bottom of the bowl. That is okay, but ensure that each of the filled peppers are coated with the mixture. Cover with the lid of the bowl chosen.
Finally, place the whole pot with cover into the oven, preheated to 375 degrees, and let it cook for one hour or until the peppers are cooked. The peppers will be soft once the dish is cooked.
After this, the dish is completed. Let the peppers cool about 30 minutes and serve.
Some good sides to accompany this dish are:
Whole wheat dinner rolls
Garlic Mashed potatoes