Healthy Week Night Meal
with Red Peppers
Shared by Dr. John Wertish
It’s a week night, and for me I need something easy not to pull my attention away but not to slack with flavor. This past week we made stuffed red peppers and they were amazing. Simple to make and you can make extra “stuffing” for the peppers for great meal prep for the week. Red peppers are high in vitamin C and antioxidants to help fight off microorganisms, keep your immune system healthy, and help heal soft tissue.
Here is an highlight of the nutritional qualities of peppers from the article attached below:
“Fresh peppers have exceptionally high quantities of ascorbic acid and their attractive red color is due to several carotenoid pigments that include β-carotene with pro-vitamin A activity and oxygenated carotenoids such as capsantine, capsorubin, and cryptocapsin, which are exclusive to these fruits and have proven to be effective at scavenging free radicals. Peppers also contain large quantities of neutral phenolic compounds or flavonoids called quercetin, luteolin, and capsaicinoids.The consumption of these bioactive compounds provide beneficial effects in human health due to their antioxidant properties, which protect against the oxidative damage to cells and thus prevent the development of common degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.These chemical compounds also prevent the oxidation of essential fats within the cells of the brain that are considered necessary for its optimal functioning.”
- 6 bell peppers, any color
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (3/4 cup uncooked)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Optional for toppings:
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro + more for topping
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)
- 1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Trim the tops of each bell pepper and scoop out the ribs and seeds. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until crumbled and slightly brown, draining excess liquid as necessary. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and continue cooking until turkey is browned and completely cooked.
- Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup salsa (reserving a 1/2 cup for later), rice, corn, black beans, salsa and cilantro. Cook about 5 more minutes until heated through.
- Divide turkey rice mixture among each bell pepper and arrange in a 9×13-inch baking dish and spoon the reserved salsa over top of each pepper.
- Pour about one cup of water in the bottom of the dish, to help steam the peppers, cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until peppers are tender. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Top with additional cilantro, serve and enjoy!
Chávez-Mendoza C, Sanchez E, Muñoz-Marquez E, Sida-Arreola JP, Flores-Cordova MA. Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Grafted Varieties of Bell Pepper. Antioxidants (Basel). 2015;4(2):427-446. Published 2015 Jun 23. doi:10.3390/antiox4020427