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Pick a pack of spicy peppers

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 3:30 p.m. CST

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Are you looking for a meal that is healthy and also easy to prepare?

Microwave Stuffed Peppers is the perfect dish for those hot days when you are short on time.

I am always on the lookout for meals that are low in calories and healthy. These peppers are prepared with lean ground turkey and turkey sausage for some spice.

Brown the turkey sausage and ground turkey in some vegetable oil and butter.  The vegetable oil is able to heat up without burning and the butter helps the turkey to brown up nicely. Most people do not even realize that they are eating turkey.  It is, after all, one of the other white meats.

I like to use the Minute Steamers Brown and Wild Rice, which can be found in the frozen vegetable section.  (I have only found this at Walmart.)  It is a mixture of brown and wild rice, obviously, but also has some cut up carrots and broccoli in it to add some color and even more flavor.

You can also use the bags of quick rice that you find in the rice aisle at the grocery store.

Add any vegetable that you like.  I used broccoli, but I have used other vegetables also. Sometimes I just take what is leftover in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use that.

If you like the peppers really spicy, substitute diced tomatoes with chilies for the fire-roasted tomatoes.  Control the heat in this peppers by the amount of red pepper flakes you add.  Start with just a little because not everyone may like it as spicy as you do.

You can also halve the peppers and make smaller portions.  Slice them in half and then hollow them out.  Or, slice the peppers in quarters and you can eat them without a utensil.  It is a nice size for a picnic or backyard barbecue.

The peppers are still a little firm. If you want the peppers a little softer you may want to cook them a little longer in the microwave when they are being cooked at 50 percent power.

I usually warm these peppers up one at a time. Since it is only a few minutes they stay warm until the others are done.

When storing the peppers, wrap them in plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them. They will keep for several days.

It really is a treat to open up the door of the refrigerator to look for lunch and have a pepper sitting there, all ready for you to eat.

These stuffed peppers can be eaten any time of the year, but are especially good in summer when peppers are so abundant.

Prepare these for your family and make enough that you will have some on hand to eat when you want to. Who of us doesn’t like to have things already prepared when we are hungry.

This really is a “go to” meal for my family. I usually have peppers ready in the refrigerator. My husband, Mark, likes to go to the gym on Monday and Wednesday nights after work. I do not feel like making dinner for him at 8 pm, so he usually gets a pepper.

Enjoy making these stuffed peppers. Once you have the basic recipe down, try making some substitutions that you like.  They are truly easy and delicious.

And remember,…a good cook always cleans up!

QUICK AND EASY MICROWAVE STUFFED PEPPERS

6 green peppers 1 tsp. salt 1 small onion, diced 1 tsp. vegetable oil 1 tsp. butter 2-hot turkey sausage 1-cup ground turkey 1-15 oz. can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 1-cup broccoli florets - cut small Green pepper tops, diced, 1 frozen bag – Minute Steamers Brown and Wild Rice    Cooked according to package directions 2 cups fresh spinach ½ tsp. pepper ¼ to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Slice tops off green peppers, but save the tops. Hollow out peppers and sprinkle inside with salt. Place peppers; cut side up, on a microwave-safe plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Cook for 6 minutes on 50 percent power.  Remove and let cool.

Brown diced onions in 1 tsp. vegetable oil for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add butter and cook ground turkey and turkey sausage. Remove casings from turkey sausage and crush to a ground turkey consistency. Cook until meat is cooked through.

Add diced tomatoes, broccoli florets, and diced green pepper tops. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables have softened slightly. Mixture should appear to have a watery consistency.  Add spinach and let spinach wilt until well mixed.

Prepare Minute Steamers Brown and Wild Rice in microwave. Add to turkey mixture. Add pepper and Italian seasoning. Add red pepper flakes according to taste.

Divide mixture among the six peppers. Place peppers back on plate and cook in microwave at 100 percent power, uncovered, for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your microwave’s cooking strength.

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