This recipe is modification of good ole rice and meat stuffed peppers. I have been trying to take old favorites and make them healthier but not compromising on taste. It seems like a lot of steps, but it really isn't bad! I always have everything cooking at the same time. Also, you can always subsitute ground beef or left over roast beef for the sausage. I am fortunate enough to have access to fresh sausage from a local farmer so it is super lean. I hope you enjoy! **I couldn't post one of the ingredients- I use Harvest Grain Blend from Trader Joe's instead of plain couscous... It is a blend of coucous, orzo, quinoa, and lentils... If you can get it or somethinf similar- try it!
- 3 large bell peppers (I use red, orange, and yellow for the colors)
- 793.78 g can crushed tomatoes
- 295.73 ml couscous (use morrocan, the larger the better)
- 591.47 ml low sodium chicken broth
- 453.59 g pork sausage, cooked, crumbled, and drained (I use fresh)
- 411.06 g can diced tomatoes
- 1 sweet onion, chopped fine
- 1 celery rib, chopped fine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4.92 ml dried oregano
- 4.92 ml dried basil
- 2.46 ml dried mint
- salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 29.58 ml olive oil
- Cut bell peppers in half long way (stem end to stem end) and remove all inside seeds, etc.
- Place in a pot of boiling water for about 3-4 minutes to soften. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them. Set aside.
- Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil with the bay leaf. Add the couscous or harvest grain blend, turn to low and cover. See the directions for cook time depending on which product you go with.
- In a skillet, brown and crumble the pork sausage. Drain on paper towels.
- Pour off drippings and add olive oil. Cook onion and celery until softened (about 5-7 minutes over medium heat). Add garlic for about 20 seconds (do not burn, will be bitter). Add can of crushed tomatoes, remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth, oregano, basil, mint, and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes. (I usually have this going while waiting on couscous or harvest grain blend to finish).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let's assemble!
- In a large bowl, combine the sausage, couscous or harvest grain blend, can of diced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and a good drizzle of olive oil. Mix until everything is blended.
- Spoon almost all of the sauce into the bottom of a rectangular baking pan. Keep about 1 cup aside for the tops of peppers after stuffed.
- Spoon mixture into each half of the peppers and place on top of the sauce in the baking pan. Sometimes it's easier to fill them while they are sitting in the pan so the mixture doesn't fall out on to the counter! Spoon a little of the red sauce on to each one. Do not "over sauce'- it will make them mushy.
- Bake covered with foil (loosely) for about 30 minutes. Uncover for another 10. Sometimes I top each one with a slice of pepper jack or provolone cheese at this point. Use it if you happen to have it!
- Serve and enjoy!