Stuffed Bell Peppers & Rice Recipe
Our local market had bins of giant green peppers on sale for 60¢ each - and who can pass up a deal like that? I splurged and purchased two, one for each of us and planned on having stuffed peppers.
My husband was telling me that when he was a kid, his aunt used to mix rice in the hamburger mixture. I'd never tried that, so I told him that I would do that. Well, silly me - my mind started floating and I totally forgot about the rice. So I had to serve it as a side item.
Nonetheless, as we were discussing how delicious the stuffed peppers had tasted we both told one another that the best part were the tops. My husband then asked me, "I wonder if we could slice the bell peppers into thick rings and have a mini-type stuffed peppers?"
I was excited about the idea so when we visited the market again, I purchased two more of the giant peppers, looking for the largest ones that I could find. I also picked up a small package of extra lean ground beef and a box of instant rice.
Long story short the recipe was fabulous! Two peppers created several mini-peppers and they were so beautiful. Here is the full-blown recipe along with the ingredient list.
As a note, I cooked my rice before mixing it with the raw hamburger meat. Also, you can adjust the amount of rice that you wish to add to the meat mixture.
This low calorie recipe requires the following ingredients: Two large bell peppers (any color), six ounces of extra lean ground beef, 1 large raw egg, salt and pepper to taste, one dozen saltine crackers (crumbled), 1/2 cup of chopped celery and onions (I used frozen) and about 1 cup of cooked rice. You will also need plenty of your favorite catsup.
Mix all of the ingredients except the large bell peppers. Begin by carefully coring them, then rinsing to remove any stray seeds.
Carefully cut the peppers into solid rings. If the rings are not solid and have to be fitted together, the rice may have a tough texture. I had two rings that broke - and on these, the rice was indeed tough in texture.
Press the meat mixture into the bell pepper rings which have been placed on a flat pan. I used a pizza pan and covered it in foil - then dusted it with a light coating of cooking spray.
Next, generously add catsup to the tops of the mini stuffed pepper rings. Be sure to get the catsup on the entire top - so that a seal of sorts is formed.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the meat is well done and the tops are a beautiful dark red. I cooked ours for about 45 minutes, then transferred the pepper rings to the broiler for about 3 minutes.
The catsup adds a traditional sweet and tart flavor to the pepper rings and is so delicious.
This recipe makes several pepper rings. Keep in mind that extra lean ground beef (95% lean) contains 116 calories per serving.
Most white instant rice contains about 200 calories per cup, cooked.
One egg contains close to 100 calories.
The other ingredients contain minimal calories but let's allow 100 more calories for the catsup and various vegetables - particularly if you like a lot of catsup like we do.
And then let's add 120 more calories for the saltine crackers.
Total calories for the entire recipe equals about 650 calories - so even if you enjoy 1/2 the recipe, you'll only be eating about 325 calories.
When working with ground beef as well as the eggs, be sure to practice all the safe handling procedures..
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