Bell peppers are a nutritious vegetable with a little bit of tang and crunch. They are an excellent source of carotenoids and recent studies have shown that the level of carotenoids and Vitamin C in bell peppers increases as it ripens. So it is best to select bell peppers that are optimally ripe to receive the full nutritional benefits. Choose organic when possible as bell peppers can be exposed to many pesticides. These wonderful vegetables come in a variety of colors, are very low on the glycemic index, and are a member of the nightshade family.
In this particular recipe, I normally use ground chicken. On occasion, I use grass-fed ground beef. Both are delicious! If you are vegan. black beans or lentils can easily replace the meat. Instead of traditional rice, I like to "rice" some cauliflower. If you are not familiar with that process, it's easy. Simply cut the cauliflower florets away from the head of cauliflower. Place the cauliflower florets in your food processor and pulse it a few times so that your cauliflower resembles rice size pieces. Be careful not to over process. You will just end up with cauliflower mash- not the texture we are looking for. Pat dry the riced cauliflower with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Some grocery stores carry bags of organic riced cauliflower so that is a nice time saving option as well. Of course if you would prefer to use traditional rice, that works too. Just cook your desired amount and add to the meat mixture towards the end stages of your cooking. Quinoa is another great choice!
Another thing I do is remove the seeds from the zucchini by scraping them out with a spoon. It helps to keep the zucchini nice and firm, not soggy. You want to make sure and dice the sweet potato into small pieces. if you don't, it will take much longer for it to cook. This mixture can be adapted to your liking. Feel free to increase the amounts of your favorite vegetables or leave out something you are not a fan of. It's completely versatile.
Traditionally, stuffed bell peppers are usually presented whole with the tops cut off. The modern way is to slice the peppers in half vertically, right down the middle. Remove the stem, pith, and seeds. It's much easier to eat this way and I prefer the presentation. But you can choose which way you prefer and go for it.
4 bell peppers- color of your choice
1 lb ground chicken (grass-fed ground beef, ground turkey, or beans for vegan)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, remove seeds and finely chopped
1/2 cup sweet potato, diced 1/4 inch
3/4 cup riced cauliflower
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup zucchini, de-seeded and diced
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coriander
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
Cheese (if tolerated)
Green onions, sliced
1. Prep your vegetables, To save time you can do it the day before.
2. Place ground chicken, garlic, onion, and jalapeno in a large pan over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes while stirring to break up the meat.
3. Next add the sweet potato. Then add chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, sea salt, and ground pepper. Combine well and cook until the meat has browned. Drain fat. Then add the jalapeno, riced cauliflower, tomatoes, and cilantro. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how firm you like your vegetables.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove pith and seeds. Add the bell pepper halves to the boiling water and blanch for 2-3 minutes, depending on how firm or soft you like your peppers. I like mine firm so 2 minutes works for me.
5. Once you have blanched the peppers, drain from the water and pat dry. Add the meat mixture to the peppers. Top with avocado, salsa, cilantro, guacamole, chipotle cashew cream, green onions, cheese, etc. The meat mixture will fill 4 whole peppers, or 8 halves, depending on how you are presenting your peppers.