Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Whether you're bringing a dish to a potluck or pleasing the usual crowd of hungry house-mates, this Italian dish is sure to please time and time again. To change it up, add 2 cups chopped baby spinach to the meat.
2 bell peppers, halved, cored, and seeded
1 tablespoon bacon grease or coconut oil
1/2 large onion, diced
sea salt and black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 pound ground beef, bison, turkey, or chicken
6 fresh basil leaves, minced, plus extra for garnish
Cooking Tip
It’s best not to use acidic ingredients (like tomatoes or vinegar) in cast-iron cookware since the acid will interact with the iron. This is a good time to use an enameled cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet or a ceramic roasting dish.
Nightshade free?
Stuff summer squash or portobello mushrooms instead of peppers, and omit the tomatoes.
Fodmap free?
Omit the onions and garlic and stuff the mixture into squash instead of peppers.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Step 2

Place the bell pepper halves face-down in a roasting dish or an oven-safe skillet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. (You can skip this step if you want to keep the peppers more firm/raw.)

Step 3

While the bell peppers are cooking, heat the bacon grease or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, adding salt and pepper to taste, until it is translucent and slightly browned on the edges. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and tomatoes, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Step 4

Add the meat and cook until fully done. Taste the mixture, and add more salt or pepper if needed. Mix in the basil.

Step 5

Remove the peppers from the oven—they should be just a bit softened—and flip them over. Spoon the stuffing mixture into each one. You can go ahead and eat them at this point, or put them back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavors of the bell pepper and the meat mixture to blend. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
You can refrigerate or freeze these to reheat later.

Step 6

This recipe is excerpted with permission from "The 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings Naturally" by Diane Sanfilippo BS NC (Victory Belt Publishing).

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