The other day I got the sudden urge to make stuffed bell peppers. I'm not sure why. I don't know if it's something I've ever had before. It just seemed something that might be visually appealing to the pickies and a good use way of integrating veggies.
3 bell peppers (we have agreed to wait until they're in season to get them again, because they're expensive now)
3 lbs ground beef
1 zucchini (standard grocery store size, not mondo garden size)
A few handfuls of grated cheese
A bunch of cloves of garlic
A few handfuls of spinach
Cumin (probably about 1 tsp)
Garlic powder to taste (we like garlic around here)
Lemon Pepper to taste
Leftover beef/pork drippings from a previous dinner
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise (you can also just cut the tops off, but this way stretched the three peppers across six people), clean out the seeds. Grate cheese and zucchini. Peel garlic and onion, and food process along with the spinach into smallish chunks (probably could have just thrown the zucchini in there, too). Chop bacon. Mix veggies, cheese, bacon, and spices with meat. Stuff meat mixture into peppers. Pour leftover drippings (or broth, or tomato sauce) over the top. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
I actually made half of these with cheese and the other half not (no cheese for me, AutisticGirl, or MediumGirl, who likes cheese but not melted in stuff). I meant to leave the zucchini out of part of it for low-carbing Caveman, but the baby was fussing up a storm, and I got mixed up and didn't manage that.
This actually made enough for two small loaf pans of meatloaf in addition to the stuff peppers, which is interesting, since I thought I used the same amount of meat to make two just slightly larger pans of meatloaf the other day. I imagine the zucchini added significantly to the bulk.
* Caveman liked it, but doesn't want that much in the way of veggies right now.
* B thought the bacon and cheese made for an excellent combination, and that the peppers were very good. I'm sure I would agree if I could do cheese.
* AutisticGirl ate it without comment or complaint, as usual.
* Boy loved the meat, said the broth smelled good, had seconds of the meat, and wants it for lunch tomorrow, but didn't eat the pepper.
* I thought I might have a winner for MediumGirl. I called them boats, and cunningly offered to trade my "prettier" red boat for her yellow boat. She enthusiastically accepted, talked about how pretty they were... then refused to eat more than her requisite bite. And then wouldn't let anyone else eat her pepper because it was pretty.
* I thought it was very tasty. The broth inside the pepper was absolutely amazing and I wish there was more of it. I'll be eating MediumGirl's for breakfast tomorrow.