What do you do with a half bushel of lovely large green peppers that you just can't resist buying?
You can't manage to cook and eat them all before they spoil.
You stuff them and freeze them!!
This is the best time of year to preserve, conserve, put meals away for the time when you need something quick and easy.
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Step 1: Gathering the Ingredients
2 lbs lean ground beef
5 cups cooked white rice
2 - 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
1/2- 26 oz can Pasta sauce - I use Primo or Hunts - your choice as to spicy or mild
4 cups diced - yellow cooking onions
2 tablespoons dried basil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups chopped green pepper (use the tops from the peppers)
1/2 cup light virgin olive oil
Step 2: Cooking the Rice
Before we start on the peppers, start the rice cooking.
5 cups water
2 and 2/3 cups long grain white rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp salt
Medium size pot
Add water, olive oil and salt to the pot, bring to a boil.
Add the rice, mix, bring back to a boil.
Turn down the heat to simmer or low, cook for 20 minutes.
When the 20 minutes is up - turn off the burner, DON"T OPEN THE LID - let sit for 10 to 15 minutes - this allows all the water to be absorbed, and gives you nice fluffy rice.
My husband lived in China for 6 months and learned how to make rice like they do, he taught me how to make rice.
Step 3: Preparing the Peppers
Wash all the peppers.
Cut the tops off.
Set the tops aside - they will be used for the chopped peppers that go into the mix.
Remove the core, ribs and seeds,
Rinse out the inside of the peppers.
To make for easy filling set the peppers upright in casserole dishes.
Step 4: Making the Stuffing Mixture
Put the olive oil, minced garlic and onions in a large pot, turn heat to medium high.
Saute the onions untill they are soft.
While the onions are cooking chop the green pepper tops into 1/4 inch pieces.
When the onions are soft add the green peppers, cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they are just tender.
Add the ground beef, cook until browned. ( About 10 minutes).
While the beef is cooking drain the tomatoes - reserving the liquid.
Add basil and tomatoes and 1/2 of the pasta sauce to beef, onions and peppers mixture.
Warm through about 5 minutes, remove from the heat.
Mix the rice into the beef mixture.
We are ready to Stuff the Peppers!!
Step 5: Stuffing the Peppers!!
Usually the peppers are partially cooked.
Since we are going to stuff them and freeze them, we are not going to cook them.
Freezing will have the same effect as cooking them.
Using a tablespoon tightly fill each pepper with the mixture.
Place the filled pepper back in the casserole dish.
Step 6: Freezing the Peppers!!
Four peppers will make a meal for 4 people as an entree.
My husband and I eat them alone as our meal.
Everything you need - starch, meat and vegetables are all in one dish.
To freeze, place 5 peppers in a large Ziploc freezer bag.
Place in the fridge to chill overnight before freezing.
Mix the reserved tomato liquid with the leftover pasta sauce - to be used with 1 serving of green peppers. Freeze the sauce if you are not going to use it right away.
This 1/2 bushel of peppers yielded 24 stuffed peppers - 6 - supper meals!.
Buying peppers in the winter (when you really want comfort food) is quite pricey, and you usually only do it once during the season.
Now you can have stuffed peppers anytime!