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I hosted a dinner party last Saturday and served option 1 of this meal alongside arugula salad with figs and toasted walnuts. A delicious early Autumn meal. Easy and a crowd pleaser. Then I ate option 2 for leftovers. Make option 1 for Sunday dinner, and you’ll have plenty left over for a few more meals for the week, a strategy I always recommend to my busy clients. I’ve included the two options here for you to enjoy, too.

spicy_speedy

OPTION ONE

Spicy Stuffed Red Peppers
1 diced yellow onion
5-6 diced carrots
4 diced celery stalks
1 lb of chicken sausage (buy bulk from the Whole Foods meat counter, or sliced chicken apple sausage links)
1-2 lbs of grass fed ground beef or turkey
1 cup spicy tomato sauce (optional)
toasted pine nuts or walnuts (also optional; I just had some on hand)
dried oregano, chopped fresh basil or dried basil, thyme, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper to taste
5-6 red bell peppers (other colors would work too)

Preheat oven to 350. Remove just the tops of the bell peppers, and rinse well to remove all the seeds. Place one big soup pot/dutch oven filled with water and turn on high to bring to a boil.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, cover the bottom of huge cast iron skillet with a lot of olive oil over medium heat and toss in the onion, celery, and carrots. Add seasonings and a little wine if you have it on hand. Crumble in the sausage and ground beef before the veggies are entirely softened. Mix well and let the meat and veggies cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, so the flavors meld. Add tapatio or other hot sauce you have on hand if desired. I added cayenne too (hence the spicy).

Your water should be boiling by now.  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 optional tomato sauce to the meat mixture and bring to a simmer.  Pull the bell peppers out of the water with tongs, dump out excess water, and arrange in a large baking dish.  Taste the filling and correct seasonings. Fill each bell pepper with the meat mixture (you’ll likely have a good bit leftover for option 2) and bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Top a few with freshly grated parmesan or gruyere if you can tolerate cheese.

This would be great with roasted cauliflower.

OPTION 2

Spicy Speedy Supper
If you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table, you can skip the red pepper portion and just sautee up this quick filling and mix it with a green vegetable. That’s what I did on Monday for the leftovers: I sauteed up a big batch of broccoli (5 minutes) and garlic and mixed some of the leftovers from the stuffed peppers in with it. I heated it all together and served it with a side of raw kraut, 10 minutes total.

fall_lunch 15-47-50

You could mix the leftover stuffing with any green veggie: spinach, kale, sliced brussels sprouts. It will probably be good for another 2 meals. Cook once; eat thrice! Enjoy.

(based on a recipe I adapted from Everyday Paleo)

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