Whole30 Recipe Attempt: Stuffed Peppers {A Messy Success}

The path to success is not always neat and pretty.

Sometimes it looks like a vegetable filled bomb exploded in your kitchen and over 3 hours of preparation later, you have a meal! (And are ready to quickly prepare a few more)

If you would have told me a few years ago that I’d enjoy cooking and eating whole foods, I would have laughed while trying to keep the Zaxby’s chicken finger in my mouth. My idea of healthy was drinking a diet Mtn Dew instead of the real deal.

We’ve come a long way! We still have further to go, so below is a recipe straight out of the Whole30 Book. One good decision at a time!


Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

4 bell peppers

3 T cooking fat

1/4C finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic (or 1 t garlic powder)

4 kale leaves (I used 1/2 head broccoli)

1 pound ground meat

2 T tomato paste

1/4 t cumin

1/4 t chili powder

1/2 t salt

1/4 black pepper

1 C finely chopped winter squash

Directions

PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a deep baking dish with parchment paper.

WITH a paring knife, slice around the top of each bell pepper and gently pull up on the stem. Discard the seeded core. Place the peppers in the prepared dish. Bake for 10 minutes, until softened. Set aside.

source & source

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MEANWHILE, melt the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom. When the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the kale (Or in my case, broccoli that I pulsed in food processor until finely chopped), and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon and stirring it into the vegetables, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat is mostly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the squash and cook until the squash is slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

DIVIDE the meat and squash mixture evenly among the softened bell peppers. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the peppers look wrinkly and the beef is slightly browned on top.

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Dinner is served!


Lessons Learned

Use a Large skillet. Mine filled up the largest delegated spot on the stove, but it was still overflowing, so mid-way through I swapped to a soup pot.

Carefully and thoroughly read directions. The above mishap could have been because instead of 1 C butternut squash I misread it as 1 whole butternut squash…oops!

Simplicity is your friend not your enemy. I had this going while trying to boil cauliflower for this recipe, cutting up sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts for another, and chopping walnuts and combining spices for another. Needless to say, this is too much.

Have all ingredients prepped and ready prior to beginning. Surely this recommendation wasn’t intended for me. Surely. Well it wasn’t sure was! Let’s just say I stepped right aboard the Hot Mess Express when I skipped this step. Keep your ticket for that train wreck and prep! 🙂

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