I get asked a lot if I have experience as a Personal Chef. “Yes,” I say. “I’ve been with the same family for almost 15 years.” Okay, it happens to be my family but the drill is the same. If I look at my family like clients, I would have to admit they aren’t the easiest bunch. They each have their own specific likes and needs. Doug wants something healthy and preferably no carbs. Jake, wait for it: doesn’t eat cheese or chocolate. Lily wants anything from the continent of Asia. So, when I plan menus, I have a lot to factor into the equation. It may not always be their dream meal but as I say to my kids, every day can’t be Christmas.
Since I won’t be nominated for a James Beard Award anytime soon, the real goal for dinner is that we are together. We hit the pause button on our busy lives and connect as a family. Even if only for a short time, sitting down together is the most delicious part of my day.
My version of Stuffed Peppers is Doug’s favorite dinner. They are seriously good, easy to make, and a great use of whatever vegetables you have in the crisper. It’s a great dinner and even better for lunch the next day. I serve this over rice.
I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine.
- 6 bell peppers (yellow and red)
- extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup onion, small dice
- ¼ cup carrot, small dice
- ¼ cup, zucchini, small dice
- 1 pound dark ground turkey meat
- 1 32 ounce jar marinara sauce
- shredded mozzerella
- flat leaf Italian parsley (garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove tops of bell peppers. Scrape out seeds and membrane inside the peppers. OPTIONAL: chop ¼ of bell pepper tops into small dice (1/4 cup) and add to onion, carrot, and zucchini.
- Rub oil on the outside and inside of each pepper to lightly coat. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the bell pepper to season.
- Spread a layer of tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish (mine was 8"x11.5"). Place bell peppers in the baking dish sitting upright. Set aside.
- In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, zucchini, and bell pepper (if using). Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables. You want to soften not brown the vegetables.
- Add ground turkey to vegetables. Lightly season meat with salt and pepper. Break up ground turkey with wooden spoon and combine with the vegetables. Brown ground turkey. Once cooked, remove excess fat.
- Add two cups of marinara sauce to pan with turkey and vegetables. Stir to combine and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon ground turkey sauce into bell peppers.
- Top each pepper with 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife slides easily into side of pepper. If cheese gets too brown for your liking during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
- Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.
- Serve over rice.