Bulgur and Beef Stuffed Peppers

  • Yield: servings

Ingredients

8large red, yellow, orange, and/or green peppers,with stems, if possible
2cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2cups bulgur
1tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3cloves garlic, crushed with garlic press
1pound lean ground beef
1package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2cup loosely packed fresh dill, chopped
2cans crushed tomatoes
4ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut 3/4-inch-thick slices from top of each pepper; reserve tops, including stems. Remove seeds and ribs, and cut thin slice from bottom so each pepper will stand upright.
  2. Arrange 4 peppers and tops (separately) on a microwave-safe plate. Cook, uncovered, in microwave on High 4 minutes. With tongs, transfer tops to paper towel. Microwave peppers 4 to 5 minutes longer, until just tender. Invert peppers onto double thickness of paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining peppers and tops.
  3. In microwave-safe large bowl, combine broth and bulgur. Microwave, uncovered, on High 12 to 15 minutes, until bulgur is tender but still slightly chewy and most of broth is absorbed.
  4. Meanwhile, in deep 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove 1/4 cup onion mixture and reserve. Add beef to remaining onion in skillet and cook until beef is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes, breaking up beef with spoon. Remove skillet from heat.
  5. Into beef in skillet, stir bulgur, spinach, dill, 1 cup crushed tomatoes, and 3/4 cup feta. Fill peppers with bulgur mixture, using 1 generous cup for each; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup feta. Replace pepper tops.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Wipe skillet clean.
  7. In same skillet, combine remaining tomatoes, reserved onion mixture, salt, and pepper; heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Divide tomato sauce evenly between two 2-quart shallow casseroles or 8-inch square glass baking dishes. Place 4 peppers in each dish. Cover one dish with foil and bake until peppers are hot, about 35 minutes. Wrap second dish well for freezing. To reheat, first defrost casserole in refrigerator for 24 hours. To reheat, bake, loosely covered with foil, in 350F oven 1 hour; uncover and heat 45 minutes longer.

Reprinted with permission from Light and Healthy Cooking by The Editors of Good Housekeeping, Hearst Books.

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