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Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

I’m willing to place a sizable bet that most of you are a little tired of turkey leftovers.  Well let’s switch it up then, with this little dish to revive your tastebuds.  This is one of those quick, healthy meals that I promised you a few weeks ago.  It’s loaded with healthy ingredients and the combination of flavors is one of my favorites– sauerkraut and beef.  (Remember this galette?)  This time I’ve also added the tang of tomatoes and the ever-so-slight crunch of green peppers.  Lovely.

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

A few comments on how I’ve titled this dish.  Let me go on record as saying I’m not a huge fan of the word “deconstructed” when it come to food.  It’s often misleading, pretentious, or both.  I know others have the same gripe about describing oneself as a “foodie”.  (Personally, I’m fine with foodie).  Anyway…here I couldn’t really come up with another way to describe this dish.  The fact is, it takes all of the wonderful components of stuffed peppers, and, well, deconstructs them.  There’s really no other way to describe it unless I decided to go with “pile of peppers, rice, ground beef, sauerkraut, and tomatoes”.  And for some reason that just doesn’t seem quite as appealing.

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

Just because this variation comes together more quickly, don’t for a moment think they aren’t as good as the original.  That would be a huge mistake, because this dish is about 10 times better than any traditional version.  Here’s why– you know that moment when you cut into what used to be a vibrant green pepper, and the liquid just floods out on to your plate because the pepper has baked far too long to ensure the filling reached the right temp?  Yeah, that doesn’t happen here.  No disappointing mushiness to the green pepper, no pieces of hamburger submerged in puddles of tomato-y water.  Here, the green peppers retain their vibrant green color and a bit of their crunch, because you decide what texture you’d like them to be.  The tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes), whichever you choose to use, are the perfect base for the rice and ground beef.  The whole dish is finished with a healthy dose of really good sauerkraut to add that wonderful zip.  Use this saurkraut recipe to make your own, or buy a good quality version.  Bubbies has wonderful fermented products.  The entire dish takes only the amount of time that you need to make the brown rice.  So…get going, time’s a ‘wasting!   Enjoy!

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers | Relishing It

The Recipe: Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers

(makes enough for 4 people)

1 cup dry long grain brown rice, rinsed

1 pound grass-fed ground beef

2 large green bell peppers, cut into large bite-size chunks

1 small white onion, diced

1/2 quart homemade tomato sauce, or a bit more  (your favorite purchased sauce or crushed tomatoes will work, too)

1 cup good quality sauerkraut

fresh parsley, for garnish

salt and pepper, to taste

Place the rinsed brown rice in a large saucepan with 2 cups of cold water and a sprinkle of salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer and let rice cook for about 30 minutes or until it is tender and the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with fork.

Meanwhile, when the rice is about halfway through it’s cooking time, begin to brown the beef  over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  For this dish, I like to leave the beef in somewhat big chunks.  When it is cooked, drain and discard the grease.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and add add the onion to the pan.  Cook the onion until it begins to get tender, just 2-3 minutes.  Add the green peppers and cook just a few minutes until they are a bit tender, but still have a slight crunch to them.  Add the tomato sauce and warm through.  When the rice is ready, add it to the skillet and stir.  If the dish is hot enough, add the sauerkraut and stir just enough to warm the kraut, but not enough to cook it.  It’s lovely when it has a bit of a crunch to it.  Re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the favorite foodie in your life, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites.  Stop over to Becki’s site, “Shopping’s My Cardio” and have a look!  Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today.  xo

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