39 cents

So, there’s not much you can get for 39 cents these days. Candy bars are upwards of 50 cents, gum is ridiculously expensive, but there is one thing I do know that 39 cents will cover – one green bell pepper. Bell peppers were on sale this week and our stomachs got excited!

Here is it folks – my recipe for stuffed green bell peppers.

Serves: 4 (or in our case, two people, two meals)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready to eat: 50 minutes
Calories: who cares

What you’ll need:

  • A small package of ground chuck. I’m not too knowledgeable in the meat department, but by small I mean the smallest pre-packaged weight at the grocery store.
  • Four green bell peppers. The bigger the better.
  • One medium yellow onion. We’re onion people.
  • One big can of tomato sauce.
  • Seasonings (pictured)
  • Worcestershire sauce. Super important.
  • Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. For garnish – or as a snack while you cook (recommended).

Alright time to get started.

  1. Brown your burger. Pretty self-explanatory here. One suggestion, drain it while there is a little pink (hopefully this is before you would normally drain it).
  2. Chop up your onion and cut the tops off of your peppers. Cut around the stem of the pepper tops. Chop up the pepper top. Add this to your skillet of hamburger. I like to keep the heat at the same temperature that you browned the hamburger – I’m not giving a specific here because every stove is different.

This is where you should be: 

Moving right along…

  1. Keep stirring the veggies and meat. It should be sizzling pretty good. We use stainless pots and pans and this is the part where the burger is sticking to the skillet. If you use non-stick, this shouldn’t be an issue. Regardless, don’t panic.
  2. Season with a generous shake of garlic powder and black pepper. You can be conservative at this point and add more later if you’re unsure of the power of garlic and pepper.
  3. After a few minutes, the onions and peppers should begin to sweat. The onions will lose their white color and begin to turn translucent, basically gray.
  4. Tomato time. Dump in the entire big can of tomato sauce. Stir it well with the meat and veggies. Let it simmer uncovered for a few minutes while you tend to the peppers. This is probably a good point for you to turn the heat down too. And the stuck-on gunk you’ve collected under there? Worry no more. The acidity of the tomato sauce will clean it right up.
  5. Back to the peppers. They should be topless. Time to remove the innards. The easiest method I’ve found for doing so is to stick your hand around the middle pit of the pepper (seeds and all), twist and pull out. Pretty easy. 
  6. After your peppers have been cleaned out, it’s time to give them a little jacuzzi time. Blanche them in boiling water for five minutes.
  7. Back to the stuffing. Your sauce should be simmering, and may even been a bit reduced at this point. For starters, I begin by seasoning the sauce with a half teaspoon of the following:
    Mrs. Dash Original Blend, Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Salt, and one tablespoon of Worcestershire.
  8. Now, it’s up to you. Let the sauce cook for a bit. Taste it. Season it to your tastebuds. But here’s a suggestion…
    For those of you who like to tango with tangy flavors – don’t hold back on the Worcestershire. I easily use one quarter cup in making my stuffing sauce. It makes the sauce less Spaghettios tasting and more spicy!

    As with most sauces, the longer it simmers, the better it tastes. If you have time, let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. Tip: Preheat your oven to 350.

  9. Now it’s time to stuff and bake! Using a ladle, scoop the sauce into your peppers. A little overflow is no big deal here. In apartment136, the more sauce the better!
  10. And we’re ready to bake. 2o minutes, 350 degrees.
  11. We like extra sharp cheddar cheese on the top of our peppers. Gives it a bit of a rich flavor, plus it’s ooey gooey cheese… what’s not to love?

So, there you have it folks. My first publicly published recipe. It’s actually based on my mom’s recipe – guess that should have been mentioned before. Sorry, mom! We love our peppers served on a bed of rice. White or brown rice will do. Enjoy!

Final thought: No, I am not endorsed by WoodWick candles. However, I welcome any advertisement opportunities. We are total WoodWick fans. I am burning a Christmas-scented WW in the bedroom as I am blogging, and the pictured Bakery Cupcake WW is burning in the kitchen. They are superb. Long-lasting, crackling, simple scented candles that make me feel at home in my new home.


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