Spicy Pepper Boats

This time of year, easy supper recipes are critical for me.  We are often out late working on the farm and I need something that can be quickly prepared or prepared in advance.  Being of eastern European descent, stuffed vegetables were a staple for my family growing up.  I still love them.  This is a recipe adapted from my Paleo Stuffed Peppers - it has a lot of spice, so tame it down if you don't like heat!

Prep time - 20 minutes, Cook time 15 minutes (more if they are coming from the fridge).

Ingredients:

  • 4 large colored bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow - you can use green if you want!)
  • 1lb ground pork or pork sausage
  • 1lb ground lean ground beef
  • 1/4 medium white onion - chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can Rotel
  • shredded cheese of your choice (I like an Italian blend)

To prepare: Remove stem and seeds from the bell peppers and place them in a stockpot with enough water to cover them.  Cook them over high heat until tender - this can be done while you are preparing all the other ingredients.  Brown onions and garlic in a splash of olive oil.  Add the meat and cook thoroughly.  Drain off excess fat if needed.  Add all the other spices and stir thoroughly.

Once the peppers are tender, remove them from the water and drain thoroughly.  Then cut them in half lengthwise and trim up any ribs to make a nice open boat.  Place them open side up into a baking dish and fill them with the meat mixture.  **note** If you are making ahead - just cover with cellophane and refrigerate.  Continue with the rest of the steps when you are ready to eat them.

Next drain the Rotel and spoon out 1/6 of the can onto each of the pepper boats.

Add a small amount of cheese on top of each of your pepper boats.  If you want to reduce calories or make this a paleo version just skip the cheese.

OK!  Now you can just pop them into an oven preheated to 375 and bake until cheese is melted and the pepper boats are nice and warm.  I like to also throw some veggies into the oven to roast at the same time to round out the meal - broccoli, sweet potato slices, Brussel sprouts....your choices are unlimited!

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