I get a loud and honest Yummy out of my son every time I make my stuffed green peppers. There is nothing that warms my heart more than a long "mmmmm" or a "yummy" from my kids. And the sprinkles on top of my sundae is hearing my husband enjoy the meal too. If your family doesn't like green peppers, you can use any vegetable you want. The really yummy stuff is the "stuffed" part. That is the part of the meal that gets all the accolades. So if your family doesn't like green peppers, try large hallowed out tomatoes, zucchinis cut lengthwise and hollow out, eggplant cut lengthwise and hollowed out, or red peppers which are high in vitamin C and much sweeter than their green brother the green pepper. But in the end, if they only eat the inside and a little bit out the outside, it is still a great easy weeknight meal.
Stuffed Green Peppers
2 cups of rice (white or brown)
1 package of ground sirloin (about 1.5 pounds more or less)
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (dried basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and sage)
* mommy hint - if you don't have a pre-made Italian seasoning -- just use a couple of dashes of oregano -- or skip this step
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper to taste
14 - 16 oz can of tomato sauce (depending on brand you use size varies, and it doesn't really matter)
First step -- start making rice (white or brown your choice). Now start making the meat part of the inside. Get your pan hot over a medium flame. Add olive oil and chopped onion. Once they are translucent, add chopped garlic. After a minute and before garlic turns brown, add ground sirloin and brown. Add cinnamon *mommy hint - the cinnamon doesn't add sweetness; it adds a great warmth to the background of the dish. Add Italian seasonings and salt and pepper. Once meat is cooked, take off stove. In a large bowl mix meat add rice (just enough so that there is a good ratio of meat to rice -- eyeball it.) Then add tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. Once mixed, it is time to stuff your peppers or family prefered veggie. First prepare your veggie to stuff. If you are stuffing peppers, cut top off and take out seeds and ribs. After preparing veggie, stuff them. Place stuffed pepper like little soldiers in a high sided casserole dish. If you have extra stuffing, place yummy meat and rice mixture around the peppers. To help keep dish moist, add some water (about a 1/3 cup give or take) to bottom of casserole -- right on top of extra meat and rice mixture. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese to top of peppers. Cover casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour -- depending on how crunchy or soft you want your peppers to be. I cook them for 45 minutes then take the cover off for the last 15 minutes of cooking -- I like to have a nice crust on the top.
Buon Appetito -- I hope your family enjoys it too.