Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

A tasty variation on the traditional dish!

This is a party in a pan with the vibrant colors and flavors! During late summer we receive all kinds of colorful vegetables from our CSA, and I don’t just mean the usual green and red peppers. We get all kinds of jewels in our large 3/4 bushel box including purple carrots, yellow carrots, yellow peppers and beautiful orange and nearly purple tomatoes. For a real show-stopping presentation, include some of these veggies in this dish. You will find them in season at your local farmer’s market or coop.

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I enjoyed stuffed peppers growing up, but over the years grew to crave a twist on the traditional recipe. 

This recipe has gotten great reviews from friends and family, from foodies to people who don’t even like peppers! So here it is, enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

Free of Dairy (opt.), Gluten, Nuts, Corn, Eggs, Soy

Servings

makes 6 peppers and/or tomatoes in a 9 x 13 pan

Preparation Time

60 minutes

Cook time

60 minutes

Ingredients

*Use all organic and/or farm-raised ingredients.

3 peppers or 6 large tomatoes or a combination of peppers and tomatoes. Peppers will be halved and tomatoes kept whole- so the combination of half-peppers and whole tomatoes should equal 6. I recommend an heirloom varietal of pepper and tomato for the best visual and taste experience! Tomatoes should be ripe but still firm.

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Options:

-3 whole peppers + 2 large tomatoes for sauce and filling

-2 whole peppers and 2 large, whole tomatoes + 1 large tomato for sauce and filling

-1 whole pepper and 4 large, whole tomatoes

-6 whole tomatoes

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4 cups cooked brown rice

(Any type should be fine. I usually cook my rice in chicken stock for added flavor and nutrition. This recipe is already rather flavorful, so if the rice is simple cooked in water, you’ll be fine.)

1 teaspoon salt

Salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1-lb ground meat (red meats like bison or beef work best, but  poultry or pork can also be used.

1/2 onion (red, white, yellow… your preference) chopped

4 medium cloves of garlic coarsely minced

about 4 cups of Mixed, chopped veggies of your choice

(this is a great way to use up those ‘odds and ends veggies’):

Zucchini, chard ribs, celery leaves and more yellow stems, finely chopped kale or collards, green onions, carrots.

1 large bunch of fern dill – large stems removed and chopped

1/4 cup butter (4 Tablespoons) or olive oil

Directions

Pre-soak rice overnight or from morning to afternoon. Want to learn more about the health benefits of soaking seeds, legumes, etc.? Check out Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon!

Precook rice. At the end of cooking add 1 teaspoon of salt, mix well and set aside.

Prepare chopped veggies. Ideally all pieces should be chopped to 1/4” square size.

Clean peppers to be used. Cut in half from stem to bottom. Remove innards of pepper. Place skin-side-down in 9 x 13 glass pan.

Wash all tomatoes. Separate peppers to be used as the stuffed peppers from others. Remove stem.

Remove the top 1/4 of the tomato like cutting a large slab of tomato. Set this slab aside on the cutting board.

With a large spoon (not as large as a serving spoon size though) scoop out the innards of the tomato and put them in a bowl. Clean them well enough to leave plenty of room for the stuffing, but not so much that the structure is compromised. No side-scraping necessary!

Place tomato in 9 x 13 pan

Repeat with remaining tomatoes to be stuffed.

Take slabs cut from the tops of the tomatoes and chop them. They can be left more coarsely chopped than other veggies. Add these tomatoes to the bowl of tomato innards.

Chop the remaining additional tomatoes for sauce and filling and add to the bowl of already chopped tomatoes. If you are only stuffing peppers and not stuffing tomatoes, simply chop the 2 large tomatoes in coarse pieces (up to 1/2”) and set aside in a bowl.

Sprinkle the inside of each pepper and tomato with a good pinch of salt. This takes the bitterness out of the peppers and flavors the tomatoes a bit. Let sit.

In a large skillet grown burger. Add onions when meat is half-cooked. Be mindful of the cooking temperatures and conditions needed for the type of meat you are using.

When meat is done cooking add minced garlic, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well, cover and let sit on a counter or cool burner.

In a large pan with high sides and a heavy bottom (a wok or dutch oven works nicely), melt butter or warm oil on medium heat.

Sauté all veggies from most dense to least. Veggies should still half-cooked, that is about 50% firm, as they will be baked and we don’t want them to get mushy.

When veggies are cooked, add rice and meat to the large pan. Add dill and tomato innards and mix all ingredients well.

With a large spoon generously fill peppers and/or tomatoes.

This recipe makes extra filling which I like to tuck around the peppers and/or tomatoes.

Sprinkle top with salt and fresh pepper.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 1 hour.

The peppers and tomatoes will be mostly cooked but still holding together and have a pleasing, firm texture still.

Serve and enjoy!

Body-type and Wellness Insights

This is a recipe well-suited for all Body-types, but the Earth and Fire-types will particularly enjoy it.

Earth-types really benefit from the lights vegetables – think of those that grow above the ground. Peppers and tomatoes are great examples of these. I recommend an Earth-type enjoy this dish as an earlier meal, to give plenty of time to burn off the rice. Additionally, if you know that you are serving this dish to a group of primarily Earth-types, I would replace the quantity of rice for more veggies to make it a lighter meal- replacing up to half of the rice for veggies. Making the dish with a lighter meat like poultry is also a good option for Earth-types. The dill makes digesting the little fat there is in this dish much easier for the body and the fresh pepper really activates the typically sluggish Earthy body.

Fire-type do not typically enjoy the peppers or tomatoes, but there is enough of a combination of flavors and good-preparation in this dish to tame the qualities of these nightshade fruits. the Fire-type will especially appreciate if this dish is made with a red meat and butter.

Air-types and Water-types may be the most picky about this dish. Cooked dishes like these with herbs that aid in digestion like garlic, pepper and dill are great for those with touchy stomachs. Pepper and tomatoes, while they are better for these types when cooked, are still not idea for the Air and Water-type. I know that I didn’t enjoy the peppers (and still don’t care for too much tomato) so I just ate the filling for years because I found the pepper too bitter. A good way around this is to sprinkle the inside of the pepper with salt during preparation and to use sweet peppers like red, orange or yellow- and beautiful heirloom varieties.  Sometimes I still only eat the filling… shhhh… don’t tell anyone 😉

There is something for everyone in this dish, but be sure to not be offended if someone picks it apart- literally!

Enjoy!

Learn more about Body-typing in the book,

You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding. 

The foods, exercises and habits that help each Body-type feel more balanced and well.