Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mom's Tweaked Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.
Henry David Thoreau

I remember as a kid my mom would make and bake Stuffed Bell Peppers filled with a mixture of ground beef, rice, and tomato sauce. But when I stopped eating food with eyes (mainly meat) that killed my days of these special meals in one. Today, I got the idea of recreating these adorable individual peppers and tweaking them with an Italian flair...

Come autumn I vow to make homemade tomato sauce like my mom did on Sundays and let it simmer and fill the air in my mountain home. I might add fresh fish, too. But today, it's a busy one. The pool at 1:00--I must get my swim. And, of course, the galley of my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate is calling out to me to proof so I'm not working too hard during the Labor Day Holiday. And the pooches. Ah yes, walking the boys is on today's agenda. Teeth cleaning for me? Tomorrow afternoon. Keeping healthy takes some work...So sometimes, cutting corners in the kitchen is a hot thing to do if you want to keep your cool.

Speaking of cool...The special store bought sauce Barilla Marinara "With Imported Olive Oil" had me with the words "olive oil." And the words on the label "Founded Parma, Italy 1877" wooed me, too. Plus, this sauce contains plenty of good for you nutrients (i.e., vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium), and less than more sodium than other ready made sauces. Yes, today will be a busy one but I will have a hot, healthy dinner tonight. It won't be a frozen or canned dinner. It will be created with a homestyle TLC spirit. Paired with a tossed green salad and whole grain French bread dipped in warm herbal olive oil will make it right. No worries. It will be perfetto as the good life goes on.

Mom's Tweaked Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

2-3 large bell peppers, red and gold
2 cups brown rice, whole grain, cooked
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup black raisins
1 cup Provolone or your fave Italian cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 tbs. Italian seasoning
2 roma tomatoes, diced

Wash bell peppers, slice off tops and save. Core. Steam peppers in boiling water till al dente, a few minutes. Set aside. Combine brown rice, 1/2 cup sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, raisins, cheese, seasoning. Stuff each pepper. Put remaining sauce on both the bottom of a baking dish and top of each. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


  1. Check out the link for the sauce. It got great reviews...I'm not the only one who fell for the Italian quick and tasty fix with health perks.

  2. Callie, I just made some homemade chocolate ice cream. Tasty but i used cocoa powder for the chocolate. Not nearly as tasty looking as your chocolate ice cream photo! What should I use for the chocolate taste? I used three eggs (blended and warmed with the milk) to make what the recipe calls French Chocolate ice cream. Any tips for me?

  3. Yep, it's in the book I'm proofing--The Healing Powers of Chocolate. Let me look up the Chocolate Ice Cream recipe and will provide for you later today.

  4. granitatogo,
    It's Hershey's dark chocolate chips--these little guys are used in the recipe for The Healing Powers of Chocolate. No cocoa powder here.