For the love of bell peppers

I have this thing for bell peppers, especially since I noticed that spring break is about three weeks away and I am nowhere near bikini shape – anyone with me.

Turkey sausage stuffed bell peppers. –Alegra Hueso | Daily Trojan

Turkey sausage stuffed bell peppers. –Alegra Hueso | Daily Trojan

Bell peppers are my go-to if I’m craving sweets, if I need a snack, if I’m eating late, if I don’t have time to cook anything or if I feel like all the vegetables I eat just are not enough. But it’s gotten monotonous and, if you’re an omnivore, that vegetable diet gets pretty boring, so I created a bell pepper concoction to spice things up.

This recipe is perfect for dinner, lunch and even as an appetizer to impress your friends (hint, hint, the Oscars are on Sunday!).

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 4 people

 1 package of Jenny-O Italian sausages (or ground turkey)
4 large bell peppers (any color you want, make it colorful!)
1 cup chopped green onion
Olive oil
1 cup of brown rice (optional)
1 cup chopped white onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Ground Turkey

Sauté the ground turkey with the chopped white onions and chopped garlic in a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil until the ground turkey is brown and the onions are clear – sprinkle some Italian spices, salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Turkey sausage

If the sausage is uncooked, you can choose to bake it or slice and sauté it the same way you would the ground turkey following the same directions as above. The cooked sausage has to be sliced and added to a pan with olive oil, white onions and garlic. Sauté till cooked.

Brown Rice

This is an optional bit – it all depends on whether you want more or less fiber. In the end you are going to mix the brown rice with the meat mixture and then stuff it in the peppers.

If you do use brown rice, use a little more than two cups of water for every one cup of rice and cook until tender. When done, rinse under cold water and set aside.

Put the cooked meat in a mixing bowl, add the chopped green onion and fold together. If using brown rice, add it to the mixing bowl and fold it in as well.

Next comes the fun part: the bell peppers.

Take your bell pepper and slice off the top half – that is below the stem and about a quarter of an inch below that. Save the top, because you’ll need to place it on the stuffed bell pepper while it cooks. You’ll also need to pull out the seeds and heart of the bell pepper, so don’t be shy to pull them out with your hand and toss them. Repeat this for all of your bell peppers.

Once all of the bell peppers are clean, take a spoon and gently put the meat mix into the peppers. Repeat this step for each pepper.

When they are all filled, replace the pepper tops and put them the oven until you can see that the edge of the bell peppers look wilted, about 15 minutes.

When the bell peppers are finally done, let them stand for a few minutes to cool and then proceed to dive in for some wonderful bursts of flavor.