My Dear “Kindred Spirit,”
So I was making supper last night. The Ant comes into the kitchen, sees what I’m cooking, and tells The Uncle: “We’re having gourmet stuffed peppers for dinner!”
I gave her one of my famous “looks.”
I’ve got a whole arsenal of these “looks,” and they get used quite often. Especially in this house.
The one I gave her was my “That’s ridiculous. You’re joking, right?” look.
“Gourmet??” My voice matched the look I had just given her.
“Yes, gourmet! Why, what do you call it?”
“I call it a concoction. Never figgered my concoctions were qualified to fit in the ‘gourmet’ category!”
“Well, I’m promoting it from ‘just a concoction’ to gourmet.”
The next famous look I gave her was my “Ok, whatever you say. I still think you’re crazy” look.
But I did realize that, unlike a concoction, a gourmet recipe kinda has to be shared, right??
So I’m sharing! Here it is:
My Gourmet Concoction (aka stuffed peppers)
- 4-6 large bell peppers, sliced in half (top to bottom) and with the seeds and stems removed.
- 1 LB Italian sausage (I found some at a farmers market a few days ago that was locally raised and processed. Yet another of the many reasons I love farmers markets!)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 small-ish zucchini, chopped into small pieces
- approx. 2 handfuls spinach, shredded small
- 1/4 – 1/2 LB shredded cheddar cheese (raw milk cheddar is best!)
- 4-6 cloves garlic, mashed
- Fresh Basil (or dried basil…)
- Sea salt
Brown sausage and onion in a large frying pan. (Add some oil if your sausage isn’t greasy enough to keep the onion from sticking). Mash in the garlic. When the sausage is cooked, toss in the tomato, zucchini, spinach, basil, and salt to taste. When the mixture is cooked down as much as you’d like, take the pan off the heat and stir in all but a handful or so of the shredded cheese.
Arrange your pepper halves in a 9×13 pan or casserole dish (or any pan/dish you have that they’ll fit in…) and fill them with the sausage mixture. I had 6 peppers and it worked out just about perfect for the amount of filling there was. Top with the reserved cheese, and bake at 375 for around 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender. Enjoy!
Now, for some additional ramblings about this:
Keep in mind that the only reason I used the veggies I used is because that’s what I had on hand. If I’d had okra, broccoli, and green beans instead of spinach and zucchini, I probably would have tossed that in. And it probably would have still been pretty good! So feel free to experiment with whatever veggies you have on hand.
For those of you who eat Paleo, grain free, or gluten free, you now have a grain free stuffed pepper recipe! If you aren’t grain free and absolutely need some rice, oats, or whatever in there, you can easily substitute (pre-cooked) rice for the zucchini. It’s your food, do what you like!
The Ant, after admitting that this was very yummy, asked me what seasonings I used.
I gave her another of my looks. This one was my “Why do you ask? Does it taste funny or something?” look.
“Seasonings??” (Again, my voice matched my look. I’m good at that).
“What spices or herbs did you use? What’s giving it the flavor??”
“Grease.” I told her. “Lots of grease.”
She then gave me one of her famous “looks.”
P.S. So since The Ant promoted my cooking from “concoctions” to “gourmet food,” does that make me a gourmet chef?? If so, I should totally go get a job as a cook and make lots of money gourmet chef-ing!