Monday, August 12, 2013

Recipe Makeover: Stuffed Peppers

When I was a kid, I hated a lot of vegetables.  I'd only eat onions if they were baked into bagels, celery was only good raw (and with peanut butter or cream cheese), tomatoes were only good cooked, and peppers... well, peppers were completely out of the question.  They tasted nasty and bitter raw, and they were slimy and somehow still bitter when they were cooked.  I spent many a meal picking peppers out of my stir-fries or hash browns or soup.  Yuck.

However, as I grew older, I decided I should probably subsist on more than cheese and rice, and I started making an effort to actually enjoy onions, tomatoes, and peppers (but not celery).  The first recipe I ever made that featured a lot of peppers was a creation of my own; a vegetarian, low calorie stuffed pepper.  And it was delicious.  Even after going low carb and eating meat again, I still longed for my delicious stuffed peppers.

When I decided I would start converting my old recipes to fit into my low carb lifestyle, I knew this would be one of the first recipes to be converted.  The first time I tried making it low carb was kind of a failure, but I kept trying, and the second attempt was a success!  It tastes exactly like my old recipe.  Actually, it tastes a lot better because it uses real meat instead of the nasty soy-meat I used to eat.

(I'm actually eating leftovers right now, lol!)

Low Carb Stuffed Peppers

4 large green peppers (although you can use red and yellow if you'd like)
1 pound ground beef
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp of the jarred minced garlic)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cauliflower rice*
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the peppers by cutting off the tops and scooping out the seeds and membranes.  If the pepper is lopsided and won't sit flat, cut part of the bottom off to make it flat and either wrap the bottom in foil or place it in a ramekin to keep the juices from flowing out.

Brown and crumble the beef.  Drain any fat you may have.  (I used a package of ground beef from the grass fed cow we bought and I was surprised at how little fat there was; I didn't need to drain it at all.)  Add the can of tomatoes, undrained, along with the spices.  Let simmer 5-10 minutes or until the juices from the tomatoes have thickened somewhat.  Remove from heat and mix in the cauliflower and the shredded cheese.

Stuff each pepper with 1/4 of the mixture.  Any leftovers can be eaten later plain or in a salad.  Place peppers in a lined or greased baking dish.  Bake peppers for 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on how well done you want your peppers.  One hour will leave them slightly crunchy still, whereas 1-1/2 hours will leave them softer.

If you're in a hurry or don't want the oven on for an hour, you can also pan fry the peppers and spoon the meat filling over top of them.

They're especially delicious reheated the next day!

*The easiest way I've found to make cauliflower rice is to steam the cauliflower, and then lightly mash it with a potato masher.  It comes out just the right size without having to go to all the work of putting it through the food processor.

Nutritional info:

For one pepper:
Calories: 408
Fat: 19g
Protein: 40g
Carbs: 17g
Fiber: 4g


  1. I've seen a few primal stuffed bell pepper recipes; need to remember to try them! Thanks!

    1. Make sure to post some pictures if you do! :)