Friday, February 3, 2012

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

I was in the mood for lamb this week and came up with the recipe for a healthy, filling weeknight meal. Most cuts of lamb can be on the expensive side, so when I saw the ground lamb at Whole Foods this weekend, I decided to try this recipe.

I was inspired by a lamb burger I had  Kat Cora's restaurant Kouzzina in Orlando, FL. Although I tried that burger years ago I remember the lamb had a perfect amount of spice and it tasted great with the feta cheese.

If you cannot find ground lamb, you can definitely substitute for turkey, bison, or lean ground beef. This meal doesn't need much in way of side dishes. It pairs nicely with a salad and some good bread. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
Serves 6

6 Anaheim peppers or bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onions diced
2 jalapenos-finely diced (remove seeds if you prefer less spice)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb ground lamb
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill
2 cups baby spinach-chopped
4 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
2 cups cooked brown rice (1 boil-in-bag brown rice)
8 oz crumbled feta cheese

1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Remove the stems on the peppers. Steam the peppers in microwave, using microwave safe plastic wrap (about 4-5 mins) or you can steam them on stove top until slightly tender. Slice the peppers 3/4 of the way lengthwise. Set aside.

3. In a medium sized skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil to pan, saute onions and jalapenos until soft; 8 mins. Add in crushed red pepper flakes and ground lamb and cook until the meat has browned; stirring often. Season with salt and pepper- to taste.  Drain off any excess fat from the lamb.
4. With heat on medium-low, add in chopped spinach, parsley and dill; mix until spinach is wilted.
5. Add in 1- 2 cups of tomato sauce and 2 cups of cooked brown rice. Mix well. Turn off the heat.

6. In the bottom of a 13 x 9" baking dish, add the rest of the tomato sauce; about 2 cups. Place the peppers on top of the sauce and fill with lamb filling. Close the peppers best you can, and top with crumbled feta cheese.

7. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 mins until very tender.

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