|I'm not sure what that is in the blue bowl. Tooth soup? Gross.|
I scored this gem from Half Priced Books and it is FULL of recipes that I would never have thought you could make in a crock pot. Awesome! I've already made a turkey meatloaf that turned out pretty good. I still prefer the beef version, even though ground turkey is 130% better for you (real statistic... probably). Next on my slow cooking menu is chicken jambalaya, enchiladas, and Mexican cornbread (not all at once). I'll let you know how those turn out. Right now though, let's focus on the stuffed bell peppers I mentioned in the title and never brought up again. I actually prepped everything the night before I did the actual slow cooking part. I don't get up early enough to slice and dice and mix raw meat together. Bleh.
The prep on this wasn't too bad. You just have to have the right tools. By that, I mean some tunes playing on your Pandora, or iPod, or whatever you use to jam, and also a nice glass of wine. Or beer. Or vodka. Whatever you prefer. This is your crock pot party! Here's what mine looked like...
|I like a good Cabernet Sauvignon every now and then. That's the crock pot trying to photo bomb back there. Not shown - Pandora jamming tunes in the background.|
Now on to the actual food prep! The recipe calls for 8 small peppers. My grocery store did not have 8 small peppers, so I just got 6 big peppers and decided to make it work. Wash up your peppers and get them all nice and shiny, like so...
|So shiny and beautiful!|
Also, try and ignore the fact that the lighting in my kitchen leaves MUCH to be desired. It's like 1973 in there, honestly. So, now you have your clean and shiny peppers and you need to cut their heads off and take out their insides. Off with their heads!
|Poor, sad, headless peppers|
Now we have to chop up 1/4 cup of onions. I went with a medium yellow onion here, just to switch it up a bit. I only chopped up half of the onion and saved the rest for some other cooking adventure. My chopping skills are ALMOST as bad a my photography skills, so it took a while to get to this point...
|There was definitely crying involved.|
Once you finish up your onion cry-fest, you are ready to mix up your ingredients in a gigantic bowl and prepare to stuff them in those poor headless peppers. I'll list all of the ingredients at the end with the full recipe, but here is what they looked like...
|You can use whatever brand you like - unless Jennie-O or anyone else wants to pay me for endorsements. In that case, you should definitely use these brands!|
So, now we have all of our necessary ingredients. We are going to just throw them in that big red bowl back there and mix them up really well. I used a long wooden spoon because mixing raw meat with my hands grosses me out. I had to do it for the meatloaf and it was NOT pretty. Blurg.
|Mix me up good, now!|
So, this recipe calls for a can of tomato sauce. I substituted a cup of salsa instead. I like a little zest in my life! Once you get everything all nice and mixed up, you need to stuff those peppers. Here is where it gets tricky. The recipe says to only fill them 2/3 of the way full. It also called for 8 smalls. I filled my 6 large to the max, and still had leftover stuffing. I did something awesome with the leftovers, which I will also tell you about, but here are my 6 large peppers stuffed to the max...
At this point, we are ready to get crock-pottin'! Me, I threw them in some tupperware and stuck it in the fridge and went to bed. Hooray! Once I woke up though, it was crock pot time, straight away! Now all we have to do is pour 3 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the crock pot, place the peppers inside the crock pot, and squirt some ketchup on top of those little guys. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons, but I just squirted away until the tops were satisfactorily covered.
Now, as I mentioned previously, I got up early and did this part. I put the peppers in the crock pot, put the lid on and turned it on low, and headed on my merry way to work. I did NOT remember to take a picture of those guys in the crock pot. Also, I only got a picture of one after it was done. We had some friends over for dinner and they arrived right as I was finishing up fixing our plates. So, we ate and I had this one little guy left over to take a picture of. Sorry!
|I was the only one left! And I tasted better than I look!|
As far as the bell peppers go, they were a hit. Everyone liked them and I consider the making of the stuffed bell pepper recipe a success! The proportions in the recipe however, not such a success, but that's ok. With all of the leftover stuffing I had I was able to make some awesome little meatballs that I served on the side. I made a super secret sauce to go on them and they turned out to be my favorite part of the meal. We also had some delicious brown rice, since there is not any rice in the stuffing. Weird, right? Anyway, here are those little meatballs, pre-cooking...
|Just added some panko breadcrumbs and an egg to make these little guys!|
STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
- 8 small green peppers, tops removed and seeded
- 10-oz. pkg. frozen corn
- 3/4 lb. 99% fat free ground turkey
- 3/4 lb. extra lean ground beef
- 8-oz. can low-sodium tomato sauce (1 cup salsa if you're zesty)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup shredded low-fat American cheese (I used cheddar)
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. ketchup (you know how I feel about this)
- Wash peppers and drain well. Combine all ingredients except water and ketchup in mixing bowl. Stir well.
- Stuff peppers 2/3 full. (or to the max. whatever works)
- Pour water in slow cooker. Arrange peppers on top.
- Pour ketchup over peppers
- Cover. Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 7-9 hours.