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I developed a spin on stuffed peppers and mashed potatoes that is worth sharing. But man, I miss cheese. Remember the stuffed peppers your mom made with ground beef, covered in delicious melted cheese? Well, these are a healthier, paleo & dairy free version of that, with a side of cauliflower mash. You could also serve these with mashed purple potatoes made with coconut milk for a dairy free version and a beautifully colored plate! But potatoes are not recommended for those with sugar sensitivity.

Spicy Stuffed Peppers
(adapted from a recipe on www.everydaypaleo.com)
serves 2
1/2 diced yellow onion
1-2 diced celery stalks
1/2 diced yellow or orange pepper
1 lb of chicken sausage removed from casing (use andouille for spice) OR buy the skinless bulk chicken sausage from the meat counter at Whole Foods, which is what I did. It’s basically ground chicken mixed with italian spices, which works well in this recipe.
2 cups italian marinara sauce, or 1 can spiced diced tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
italian seasonings
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Place one big soup pot filled with water and turn on high to bring to a boil. Cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet with olive oil or coconut oil, and over medium heat toss in the onion, celery, and diced peppers. Cook about 3 minutes, then crumble in the sausage add oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or any other dried italian seasonings that appeal to you. Mix well and let the meat and veggies cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, remove just the tops of the bell peppers, and rinse well to remove all the seeds. By now your water should be boiling. Place the bell peppers gently in the boiling water and submerge them for 5-6 minutes or until the bell peppers are just a little soft but NOT falling apart. While the bell peppers are boiling, add the marinara or can of tomatoes to the meat mixture and bring to a simmer. Pull the bell peppers out of the water with tongs. Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl, and wipe out the cast iron skillet, then coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Arrange the peppers in the skillet and fill each bell pepper with the meat mixture. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. You could also make a “cheese” mixture of toasted walnuts ground together with nutritional yeast and sprinkle over the top before you put in the oven. I would have tried this if I’d had the ingredients on hand. I topped with a little chili powder before I put in the oven.

Serve with this mashed cauliflower:
(adapted from www.kareniscooking.com, my biz partner’s site!)
Ingredients:
1 medium head of cauliflower, organic is best
3 – 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled (more if you want to ward off vampires)
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, optional OR 1 tbsp miso paste, which is what I use
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or organic butter

Wash and trim the head of cauliflower and cut into rough pieces. Heat a pan and pour in the cup of water or stock, toss in the cut cauliflower and cloves of garlic. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Add pepper. Transfer mixture, including the liquid, into a blender. (You may want to do this in two batches.) Add in the nutritional yeast or miso paste, olive oil. Puree until it resembles the consistency of mashed potatoes. You may need to add in a little more water/stock to facilitate the blending, but be careful NOT to add in too much liquid. (You could also add in some coconut or almond milk for extra richness and flavor.) Taste and add sea salt if necessary.

To serve, place the stuffed pepper in the middle of the plate, and arrange cauliflower mash around it for a beautiful presentation. Enjoy!