When the combination of beauty, simplicity and taste is found in one recipe, a maternal-like pride wells up inside me. Yes. I am actually proud of myself for finding such a gem as these stuffed peppers. The fact that this recipe is also low-cal…well, I might just buy myself something pretty.
4 large bell peppers, stems intact
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (I use 4 or 5 and it’s not too garlic-y)
3 cups tightly packed baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 pound lean ground beef, 7% fat or less (I actually use 1 whole pound)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup drained petite diced tomatoes (I use 1 cup)
1/3 cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
2 TBS pine nuts, toasted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1.) Pre-heat oven to 375°. Slice off top 1/2 inch of each pepper and reserve. Remove ribs and seeds.
2.) Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened–about 5 mins. (Don’t forget to smell how incredible these 3 ingredients are when heated together!) Add spinach and oregano and cook, stirring constantly until wilted and liquid has evaporated–about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
3.) Add beef to skillet and cook, breaking it up with wooden spoon until browned–about 8 minutes. Add beef, rice, tomatoes, feta, pine nuts, salt and black pepper to spinach mixture. Stir gently until well combined.
4.) Stuff filling evenly into each bell pepper. Place stuffed peppers–with the tops on–in medium deep casserole and bake until peppers are tender and stuffing is heated through–about 30 minutes.
**Any excess stuffing is delicious for lunch the next day when reheated and stuffed into a pita pocket with a small Greek side salad!
-ciao for now-
*This recipe is from the WeightWatchers PointsPlus Cookbook, and is 6 points/pepper. 🙂
Photo credit to Patrizia Montanari