If I had known that making stuffed peppers would have illicited such a response from my 8 year old I may have thought twice about making them on a busy night last week. I had peppers form the market that I needed to use, zucchini and yellow squash form my Mom, basil from my Mother in law and a freshly ground pack of meat from our local butcher all beckoning to me from the refrigerator.
I still would have made them…I just would have made more of them. It was a busy day, like most of them are. I got home late from work, both boys met me at the door with handfuls of back to school paperwork that needed to be filled out, I had a column I needed to write, dishes, laundry..I could go on and on but you all have been there so there is no need reminding you ????
So knowing all day that I had the makings of stuffed peppers and squash I set about to making dinner. By this time it was 7:00. Now this may not sound late to you but in my house we don’t normally eat this late. My kids go to bed at 8:00 so suffice it to say they were starving. I was in a hurry and didn’t notice that I had 3 peppers, enough squash to stuff and that was it. I really didn’t make enough dinner. I did have a great, fresh loaf of 9 grain bread and the makings of a mixed green salad with berries so that filled any gaps I had in my dinner menu. This story is taking longer to tell that it actually took me to make dinner!!
Super long story short, we sat down to dinner and my kids chowed down. I had portioned out what I had stuffed to we had just eaten all we had. When my little one asked for more, I had to explain that I messed up and only made just enough, salad and bread wold have to do. I really underestimated their hunger, I guess. He just looked at me and wailed..(bear in mind this is the end of the day ???? He asked me “Why would I ever deprive him of more stuffed peppers? Didn’t I know HOW MUCH he loved them”? You would just have to know him to fully get how ridiculous he sounded then. He stalked off to the shower and put himself to bed without so much as a kiss goodnight.
But what he didn’t know….I had saved one of the peppers, wrapped it tight and put it in the freezer. For him…for his lunch today. I wish I could see the look on his face when he opens his little container at lunch and sees what I secretly saved him…..
My Families Favorite Stuffed Peppers/Squash
Vegetables you want to stuff: cleaned, hollowed out, etc.
1 small zucchini, shredded
2 C cooked brown rice or Quinoa
1 pound of lean cooked ground meat. I used ground sirloin
1 small onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB dried basil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
1 small can of tomato paste
Cook the meat until done and then add the onion and the garlic in a large skillet. Saute until soft. Add the zucchini and stir a few times to incorporate. Add the dried basil, tomato paste, rice, salt and pepper and combine all of the ingredients. Remove from heat.
Next, make a small slice off of the bottom of your squash/zucchini so they will sit and not topple. Make sure not to cut through the flesh.
Then use the back side of a spoon to scoop a little of the flesh out of the squash. This makes a nice little ‘boat’ to hold the filling.
I then lay out all of the veggies I am going to stuff and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Fill to the top, add a garnish of freshly chopped basil and Parmesan.
Bake at 350 until veggies are a little soft (I like mine firm, though) and the cheese is melted. Alternately you can grill these.
|Next time…I will make more ????|
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