January 30, 2013

Super Healthy Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers


Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

I am constantly on the hunt for healthy, yummy meals that add more veggies and lean protein so I started making these stuffed peppers about a year ago.  They are made with ground turkey instead of ground beef and allow you to incorporate as many vegetables as you like.   Here is the recipe that I've tweaked along the way with a few tips.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

You'll need:

 - 4-6 bell peppers.
 - A 1.25lb package of ground turkey
 - 2-3 cups of cooked rice
 - 4 cloves of garlic, minced and crushed for extra flavor
 - 1/2 sweet onion, diced
 - 1 cup of chopped broccoli
 - 1/2 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
 - salt & pepper to taste
 - 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

I usually do this with 4 peppers and have leftover mixture to save for omlettes and quesedillas since we are a small family, but you can definitely make this recipe for 6 people.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

Remove the tops of the peppers and clean them out.  You can give them a quick rinse to ensure all the seeds are removed.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and sautee the onion for 3-5 minutes before adding the ground turkey.  This ensures that the turkey picks up extra flavor from the onions.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

Add the ground turkey and continue stirring while letting it brown.  Since ground turkey tends to cook in a more "clumpy" way than ground beef I use a silicone spoon and keep breaking it apart to avoid large chunks of turkey.  Wait until the turkey is nearly done to add your garlic so it doesn't burn and get bitter.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

When the turkey is cooked you can add your veggies.  I used some broccoli that had been steamed at dinner the night before.  If you're using raw or frozen vegetables you can add them and put the cover on the saucepan to help cook faster and retain moisture.

I added the rice as well in the picture below since my broccoli was already cooked, but wait until your vegetables are cooked to add it or it will get too mushy.  If you like, you can add salt and pepper to taste at this point.  I usually add a little bit since turkey still needs some work to make it taste as flavorful as beef.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

This next step is optional.  I add about a 1/2 cup of pasta sauce.  I think it helps keep everything from drying out when you bake the peppers.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

I fill the peppers and make each one a little cap using aluminum foil.  This lets the pepper itself get cooked without burning the top of the stuffing inside.  Some people do cover the whole baking dish with foil but it takes longer for the peppers to cook that way.

Mommy Testers  healthy stuffed peppers, ground turkey stuffed peppers, easy healthy ground turkey meal

I use a pyrex 8x8 baking dish since it fits in my amazing, do everything countertop Breville Smart Oven , which I LOVE.  Before I put the dish in I add a little bit of water to the bottom of it, less than 1/4 inch to help steam those peppers.  I bake them at 375 degrees for 40 minutes and remove the foil caps half way through cooking.

That's it - you're left with an all encompassing, balanced meal.  The peppers will be tender and juicy and you'll love not having to make side dishes.  If you want you can serve these with a simple salad for extra greens.
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