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So, I wanted to make stuffed peppers for dinner with a lower carb count than your traditional recipe. Mixing in a bunch of rice with the meat doesn’t do anything for me. Not only do I try to eat grains sparingly, but seriously – if I’m going to eat rice… I’m going to eat it plain and covered with butter. I want the full experience – not a bunch of rice hidden in a dish for no reason.
With that being said, I wanted to keep the texture similar and add a nutritional boost.
Enter in: baby kale, chard, and spinach blend
I LOVE these greens, and so do my twins. They are so mild tasting, yet still full of flavor with zero bitterness. If you think you don’t like kale, try this.
Anyway, I had the idea to chop some of it up, sautéing it with a sweet onion and some spices, and mixing it into the meat mixture for the peppers. I like to also add the seasonings here because I think sautéing them with the onion adds more flavor.
After hollowing out the peppers, I also didn’t want to throw away the tops. Instead of being wasteful, I chopped those up to also use in the filling.
To bind the filling, instead of rice, I used a little bit of Coconut Flour.
Coconut flour is a great binder because it sucks up a lot of moisture and you need very little of it. This makes it one of the more economical “paleo” flours. I’ve also used it in meatloaves and meatballs with great success.
I mixed together 1 egg with the coconut flour, ground beef, and tomato sauce (I used jarred tomato sauce since this was a quick weeknight dinner – and the twins were not happy).
Add in the cooled greens + onion mixture and the diced up pepper tops. Mix well with your hands and stuff the peppers. Add remaining tomato sauce around the peppers. These take about an hour, maybe more to cook. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
There you have it! You don’t need rice to make this a super satisfying and filling meal full of vegetables.
*Tip for your toddlers – I had some of the meat mixture left over, so I cooked it up in a frying pan on its own. I gave this to my twins because they were getting very impatient for dinner and obviously tomato sauce is kind of a mess for one year olds. They loved it!
Here’s the shortened (and printable!) recipe instructions:
- 1 lb of 80/20 ground beef (preferably organic)
- 3-4 bell peppers (any color)
- basic tomato sauce of your preference
- 10 oz baby kale or spinach (I used Earthbound Farms baby kale, chard, and spinach mixture)
- 1 onion
- 3 T grass-fed butter
- 1 egg
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 T coconut flour (affiliate link - Bob's Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour, 16-Ounce)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely dice onion and chop baby kale/spinach.
- In a skillet, melt butter and add onion. Sprinkle in some sea salt, black pepper, and remaining spices and herbs. Allow to sauté until translucent.
- Add in baby kale/spinach in batches until wilted. Set aside to cool.
- Cut tops off of peppers, hollow out by removing seeds and membranes. Carefully slice a small section off of the bottom of the pepper so it is flat and will stand up in baking dish. Set aside.
- Take the tops of the peppers and dice the extra parts up finely.
- In a mixing bowl, add 1 egg, 2 T coconut flour, 1 lb of ground beef, and 2-3 T tomato sauce. Add in cooled kale/onion mixture and diced pepper tops.
- Pack the meat mixture into the hollowed out peppers and place in glass baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce around peppers. Cover with foil or lid and bake for approximately 1 hour.