Grandma’s Stuffed Peppers: Redo

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We’ve had some crazy busy weeks lately and I don’t see things slowing down until late September… (hopefully).

Since I’m not always sure when Brian or I will be getting home each evening, I’ve been using the crock-pot a lot lately.

As I’ve admitted before… I’m a little freaked out by crock-pots.  I just don’t trust them not to burst into flames and burn down the countryside…. Brian thinks I’m ridiculous. Before we got married he lived off of crock-pot meals. He swears that crock-pots are perfectly safe….. I’m not entirely convinced….I still clear everything off the counter before using the crock-pot, but I have to admit it is really nice to come home to the smell of a delicious dinner.

So the other day when I stopped at the fruit stand and they had a huge pile of beautiful, green peppers…. I swear I heard Grandma’s voice…  It’s moments like these that I miss Grandma horribly and then feel so blessed to have had the time that we did.

In my family, Stuffed Peppers are either loved or hated… there is no in-between.  My Aunt Sheila and I love them… so when Grandma would make Stuffed Peppers Sheila and I would get a call to come over for dinner.  I have lied and told Grandma that I hadn’t made dinner yet… taken dinner out of the oven and gone to Grandma’s for Stuffed Peppers.  Of course, Grandma has passed, I’ve gone Gluten Free and Sheila has turned vegetarian (and almost gluten-free)….. things have changed, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have my beloved Stuffed Peppers… they just have to change a little too.

Brian was lucky enough to have had Grandma’s Stuffed Peppers a time or two… I’m not sure if he was as excited about the Peppers as I was or if it was the mashed potatoes that he loved so much.  Grandma always made mashed potatoes with stuffed peppers… I’m not sure why, considering that we topped the peppers with a tomato sauce….. but it just worked.

I always think of Stuffed Peppers as an Autumn type meal,  but summer is really the prime time for garden fresh peppers and tomatoes.  I had a bunch of tomatoes from my garden that I needed to do something with….. I don’t know why I plant them.  I always end up with more tomatoes than I know what to do with, but every spring I am compelled to buy tomato plants.  I decided to make my own homemade spaghetti sauce using Wildtree’s Hearty Spaghetti Sauce seasonings.  OMG!  It was sooooo good!

I make a few changes from Grandma’s original recipe.  I add pork sausage, where Grandma just used hamburger… I often use turkey instead of hamburger too.  I also use Wildtree’s Garam Masala Blend… it sounds a little odd, (Ingredients: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cardamom, Organic Cumin, Organic Coriander, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Cayenne Pepper, Organic Nutmeg, Organic Cloves, Organic Turmeric) but the flavors go together just perfect.

 

 Grandma’s Stuffed Peppers: The New Way

Ingredients:

Stuffed Peppers

  •  1 lb – Ground Turkey (or Hamburger)
  • 1 lb – Pork Sausage
  • 1 – Onion, chopped (small)
  • ½ c. – Celery, chopped
  • 1 t – Garlic, chopped
  • 1 t – Wildtree’s Garam Masala Blend
  • 1 c – Rice
  • 6 – Green Peppers
  • Salt & Pepper

Spaghetti Sauce

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together; roll into balls and stuff into the peppers.

Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and onion.  In a medium sauce pan, combine the onion, tomatoes, garlic and seasonings.  Allow sauce to simmer at least 20 minutes.  (Or longer if desired.)

Bake at 350* for 1 ½ hours.

Or place in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  If you use the crock pot you could add the spaghetti sauce to the crockpot and allow it to cook with the peppers all day.

 

 

 

Days 2 & 3 – Detox Woes

Day one was pretty easy.

Day two was a little harder…

It was a pretty sucky day at the office.  When things get rough I normally turn to the three-pound bag of M&M’s that I keep hidden in my desk for a little pick me up. (Don’t look at me like that… it’s not whiskey…. it’s M&M’s.) A handful of M&M’s and I’m usually good to go…. but now, M&M’s = Milk = no-no.  FINE.  Umm…. I couldn’t find anything else that I could eat that didn’t have wheat, milk or eggs in it!!  AND!  Some evil person sent us a mega tub of those little shortbread cookies (3lbs!) and some other evil person sent us a mega tub of pretzles…..and they keep looking at me!  Calling to me…. singing….  Wanted them so bad.  😦

Dad and I went out for lunch and I thought I had that totally under control.  We went to this cute little Mexican place and I got my usual… Shrimp Fajitas without the tortillas or sour cream.  But then I couldn’t remember if the guacamole had sour cream in it our not… and then I googled corn nachos and some recipes said they were made with flour and some said not… I tried asking the waiter, but his English and my Spanish…. not so good. I gave up…. the shrimp and veggies were delish and I decided that I was going to eat the rice and beans since I couldn’t think of anything that would be in them that I couldn’t have.

I had to stay late for a meeting and I was already annoyed… I ended up eating peanut butter out of the jar for dinner.  Pathetic.  Tired, cranky, feeling very deprived I had three slurps of a beer before I remembered that beer often had wheat in it…. sigh.

Day three was better.  I woke up with a bit of a headache, just a little bit of a buzz in the back of my head, but nothing too bad.  The best part??  I’d lost FOUR pounds!  Woo Hoo!  I’d been hoping (Dr. Oz said that hidden allergies are making me fat), but was pretty excited about four pounds in two days.  That was probably the best motivation possible!

Breakfast was another smoothie… I’m getting pretty into smoothies.

  • Blueberries, frozen
  • Strawberries, frozen
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk (Thai Kitchen)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Youngberry Juice

Zip em in the Oster My Blend and YUM!

Tropical Turkey

Lunch was more of a challenge…. Mom and I went to Kimmswick… Blue Owl…. my favorite place in the world…. and ummm…. what can I eat?  After pouring over the menu, Mom and I found two things that I could eat (without asking for a dozen changes).  It was Friday, so their special of the day was tilapia…. safe.  I chose the other safe item , the Tropical Turkey Salad (minus the turkey) instead…. So good!

Then I made Stuffed Peppers for dinner…

Stuffed Pepper

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. – Hamburger
  • 1 – Onion, chopped (small)
  • ½ c. – Celery, chopped
  • 1 t. – Garlic Salt
  • 1 t. – Basil
  • 1 c. – Rice
  • 4 – Green Peppers
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Ragu (Not Traditional, it has cheese in it…. I used Diced Tomatoes instead)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together; roll into balls and stuff into peppers.  Cover peppers with Ragu.

Bake at 350* for 1 ½ hours

By evening my brain was about to explode… that mild headache had morphed into full-blown brain damage…..  My head hurt, my stomach hurt and I wanted chocolate in the worst way.  I’d have killed for chocolate….

So, two days in and the headache and chocolate cravings were insane, but those four pounds lost…. it almost balanced out….