Thursday, August 4, 2011

Stuffed Squash & Bell Peppers

A friend from work brought me 2 giant squash fresh from her garden.  I was thrilled and immediately knew I had to make something special with these home grown vegetables.  I decided on stuffed squash and peppers since I had some leftover ground beef in the refrigerator.  You could also substitute ground turkey in this recipe, if you prefer.  This dish is fast to put together and takes about 45 minutes in the oven (I had them cooking while I got ready for work).  Another delicious and gluten free meal for the family!

Stuffed peppers with Italian flavors and baked marinara make a perfect meal

Making good use of this garden fresh summer squash
2 green, yellow, or red bell peppers halved and seeded
2 large3 zucchini or summer squash, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, grated or diced
1/4c chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
3tbs katsup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4tsp ground black pepper
1/3c grated romano & parmesan blend cheese
3tbs almond flour (feel free to substitute 1/4 cup of your favorite breadcrumbs here: ground chex, ground gluten free bread, ground gluten free waffles, ect.  I used almond flour as an experiment to see if it would lend a nuttier flavor and it turned out delicious.  If you don't have any of these ingredients, just omit all together)
1lb ground beef or dark meat ground turkey
2c marinara (I used trader joe's)

1. Grease a large casserole or glass pan with oil.  Preheat oven to 400F.
2. With a spoon or melon ball scooper, carefully scrape out the center of the zucchini leaving 1/4" border around the vegetable.  Do not discard the seeds and flesh of the vegetable.  Instead, chop it up into a dice and set aside.  Place hollowed out veggies in the prepared pan.
3. Wisk egg, onion, parsley, katsup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend.  Stir in cheese and almond flour/breadcrumbs.  Mix in the meat and leftover squash flesh until combined.
4. Fill zucchini and pepper halves with a mound of the meat mixture, dividing evenly.  Pour marinara sauce over each of the stuffed veggies.  Bake uncovered until the veggies are tender and roasted and the center of the meat mixture registers 165F (45 minutes or so).  Transfer to your plate and enjoy (top with additional cheese if desired).

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