Stuffed Red Pepper Casserole
Put your Garden Grown Vegetables to Good Use
Garden Grown Satisfaction
Everybody loves a vegetable garden (well... almost everybody) and when it comes to preparing a meal there is nothing more satisfying then using your very own garden grown vegetables.
My Tear Drop Shaped Red Peppers
I have to admit, I wasn't to sure if my red peppers were growing correctly. I mean, I planted them, watered them, watched them grow but something didn't look right. I was thinking that red peppers were similar to green peppers when it came to shape and form...but no. My red peppers looked like they were drooping off the stem; like an upside down tear drop. Was I doing something wrong?
My Very Small Tomatoes
I was sadly disappointed to see that my tomatoes grew very, very small. A little bigger than a cherry tomato but not by much. I used about 5 (maybe 6) of these tomatoes. You could just use 2 regular or large tomatoes.
Prep the Onions
My Store Bought Onions
I tried to grow onions. Didn't turn out too well. In fact, nothing turned out. I tried using a cut-off end to an onion and planted it. Nothing happened. So I had to go to the store and buy some.
I thought that I may have heard or read something about planting a part of the onion and being able to grow even more onions. Anyway...
Dicing Vegetables Properly & Measuring Accurately
So very Important
I can't stress enough to inform you that following recipes to what they exactly calls for is of MOST importance. Whether it calls for being finely sliced or it's stating to be thoroughly diced because, trust me, there is a difference.
Measuring out the correct portions is just as important. The difference could be anywhere from burning it to turning it into something mysterious.
Any brand of rice will do. Keep in mind, it's recommended that you use a better quality when it comes to the rice. A name brand is preferred. However, you do what's best for you.
NOTE: Buy some plain white rice from your local Chinese takeout.
Prep the Mushrooms
Prepping the mushrooms is quite easy actually. It's pretty much just draining the water from a can of mushrooms. Be sure to use "Stem & Pieces" if using a can. Using full mushrooms WILL NOT work. Mushrooms need to be finely sliced.
- 1 pound ground beef, browned
- 1 8oz can of mushrooms
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 small tomatoes, diced
- 4 cups instant rice
- 1 24oz jar of tomato sauce
- 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, grated
- 12 small, whole, teardrop shaped red peppers, stem & seeds removed,hallowed out
Browning Ground Beef
Believe it or not, but some people can literally destroy a meal by simply not browning ground beef the way they should. Whether you under cook or overcook the ground beef a simple solution can be applied to where this will never happen again. That solution is simply staying put and mix the ground beef while it's in the pan. Don't go anywhere.
Another recommended solution is by picking the ground beef into the pan, pinch by pinch. That way you'll know you're browning ground beef the correct way. Be sure not to have the heat to high when browning ground beef.and also to mix the ground beef occasionally to avoid overcooking.
- When it comes to the rice, be sure to follow the directions properly and accordingly to your brands recommendation
- Set aside when done. Keep covered. Mix occasionally if needed.
- Brown the ground beef to your specifications. Drain. Put to low heat.
- Add your chopped onions, diced tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. Keep covered for 20 minutes. Mix after ten minutes.
- Keep cooking until onions have softened.
- Mix in rice slowly. Stirring occasionally. Add little water if needed.
- Remove stems from red peppers leaving just a hole. Be sure to clean out as many seeds as you can.
- Stuff the hallowed out red peppers with the ground beef and rice. Stuff them good and tight. Place in casserole dish. Use extra ground beef and rice to fill up the empty spaces in the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and warm in oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until the red pepper has softened. You may add more Parmesan cheese to your preference.
Don't get stingy when it comes to the rice. It's better to spend the extra money for a better quality of rice than run the risk of totally destroying this recipe. Cheap rice can comeback to haunt you. Unless you totally know what you're doing and you're just too stubborn and want to dedicate your time to ensuring a perfect pan of rice... go for it.
Add Mushrooms & Onions First
Although it's not necessary, but it is preferred that you cook the onions and mushrooms FIRST for a little while, before adding the tomatoes.
Add Rice & Tomatoes Second
Although it's not necessary, but it is recommended that you cook the rice and tomatoes SECOND for a little while, before adding the tomato sauce.
Add Tomato Sauce Third
Although it's not necessary, but it is preferred that you add the tomato sauce THIRD before mixing everything together.
You may mix everything all at once in a bowl like shown in the two photographs posted right above.
Stuff Red Peppers
Now the fun part!
Through experience, I feel using latex gloves when stuffing the red peppers. It seems to go by faster. It much easier to clean up also. With the extra stuffing, fill in the empty spaces in the casserole dish around the neatly organized red peppers.
Evenly Space Stuffed Red Peppers
Be sure to evenly space the stuffed red peppers. Use a smaller/bigger dish to bake in if needed.
When done, sprinkle the 5TBS of Parmesan cheese over top the entire dish. Or, add as little/much as you want.