Growing up, my parents often made stuffed peppers. It is a very homey, comforting dish. You can stuff the peppers with a combination of rice, ground beef and vegetables. My parents differ in the final step of the preparation: my dad likes to cook the peppers in tomato sauce, but my mom very much dislikes the tomato sauce.
Last year I made a basic version of stuffed peppers and in the Spring I made Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.
On Tuesday I stayed home from work and decided to make a quick dinner before meeting up with Anna's friend Wendy, and of course Anna, for lunch and dessert.
Instead of stuffing the peppers, I made each part separately, and then combined everything for a simple, but flavorful dinner.
Lazy Stuffed Green Peppers with Spanish Rice
1 pound ground beef
10 ounces Mahatma Saffron Yellow Rice
2 green peppers, sectioned and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
seasonings: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, coriander powder, cayenne powder, chili powder, dried basil, oregano
1 pitch of sugar
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1) Cook ground beef, seasoning it with all spices but basil and oregano.
2) Remove cooked ground beef from the pan, leaving a few teaspoons of fat in the pan. Add green peppers, red onion and garlic and cook until the tenderness you want (I left my vegetables with a bit of a bite). Again, season the vegetables with all the spices but basil and oregano.
3) Meanwhile, cook yellow saffron rice according to the directions on the package.
4) In a small saucepan spike up the crushed tomatoes with basil and oregano. Add a pinch of sugar for a bit of sweetness.
5) Once everything is cooked, spoon the rice into a bowl, top with ground beef and vegetables and feta, pour a bit of the tomato sauce around. Time to eat!
The flavors worked very well together because the same spices were used in the ground beef mixture and the vegetable mixture. Keep in mind this is a very versatile dish: you can use the sauce and the ground beef mixture the next day in a pasta dish. You can use the vegetables in an omelet or to top off polenta.
This lazy dish also reminds me of a lazy stuffed cabbage recipe my mom makes quite often. You make a mixture of white rice, ground beef and carrots, and instead of stuffing it into the cabbage leaves, you shred the cabbage and cook it with the rice, ground beef and vegetables. The flavors are the same as in the original version, but you save yourself so much time!