Today, my Grandma Lynne turns 81. I look up to her for many reasons, one of the most important reasons being that she helped found my love for cooking. My grandma is the kind of cook who has a handful of recipes that she makes flawlessly, and usually sticks to those.
I have so many memories that are centered around Sunday night dinners at her house. We’d walk in the front door and the smell of pot roast, chop suey, or stuffed peppers and fresh rolls instantly made us drool. We’d help set the table for dinner, and sit around her big oak dining room table and feast. She always makes enough for 20 people.
We celebrated my Grandma’s birthday last night, and one of my favorite things about her is her thoughtfulness and how invested she is in everything that’s going on in our lives. She cares about every detail. “How’s your finger doing? What are you putting on the blog next?” Side note, she is surprisingly tech savvy for her age, but I know that she doesn’t fully understand blogging.
Grandma was helping me brainstorm meal prep ideas the other day- yes, I told you- she’s great, and she said “how about stuffed peppers?” I know that her method includes butter, white rice, canned tomato soup and sometimes sour cream, so I hesitated. She went on about how easy it is, and I suddenly was craving it so badly there was no way I wasn’t going to at least attempt them.
Cauliflower rice is a wonderful thing. If you didn’t know that by now, let me convince you. I know it’s not the real thing, my husband reminds me all the time, but it really does the trick in these stuffed peppers. I buy it frozen from ALDI and keep it stocked at all times. You can rice cauliflower on your own, but I always make a mess of it and why bother when you can buy it already done for you?
The other trick to achieving Grandma-level results is including dates in the tomato sauce to emulate the sweetness of Campbell’s tomato soup she pours on top. You can skip the dates if you want, but I love the way they flavor the broth of this dish.
Last but not least- the BEST way to serve these peppers is with a side of mashed potatoes. If you need a recipe, skip to the mashed potatoes portion of my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie!
Grandma’s Stuffed Peppers
Makes 4-6 servings
1 C beef broth
16 oz. tomato sauce
2 medjool dates, pitted
3 bell peppers, cut in half width wise and seeded
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T tomato paste
1 T coconut aminos
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 egg, beaten
2 t Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C cauliflower rice (defrosted if using frozen)
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Place prepared bell pepper halves cut side up in 9 x 13 glass pan.
In microwave-safe bowl, heat beef broth and pitted dates in microwave for one minute. Add to blender or food processor along with tomato sauce and blend until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
In large bowl, combine ground beef, onions, garlic, tomato paste, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, beaten egg, and Italian seasoning. Mix together until just incorporated using spatula or clean hands. Add cauliflower rice, salt and pepper and fold in. Don’t over mix!
Fill bell pepper halves with ground beef mixture, making sure to distribute equally among peppers for even cooking. Pour tomato sauce mixture on top of stuffed peppers, and cover pan with aluminum foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 75-90 minutes, until internal temperate of stuffed peppers registers 165°. Serve hot alongside mashed potatoes with ladle of broth on top. Garnish with fresh parsley if you have it. Enjoy!
Tip** if you’re near the kitchen during the cooking process, ladle tomato mixture on top of peppers halfway through cooking process to keep them moist.
Happy birthday, Grandma xoxo