One GRITS Journey To Convert Beloved Southern Recipes to Paleo Approved, and Darn GOOD too!

This is my story of how I am striving to change my family's life, nutritionally, for the better. Here in the deep South Paleo is a foreign word. No one has heard of it, and gluten free is really almost as unheard of...
After reading Gary Taubes enlightning GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES I was determine to change! Armed with my own two hands, the internet (thank God for, and all those wonderful blogs and podcasts available now, I am beginning my journey.
Please feel free to join me as I try to adapt all of our Southern Favorites into Paleo Appropriate Scrumptiousness!!! (and all Gluten Free) I will try to post all of the good ones, and may even blog about some failures along the way.

30 March 2011

Yummy Stuffed Peppers

Another cold and rainy day..I wanted to make something Comforting and YUMMY!!! and this on is totally PALEO friendly (the cheese is totally optional- but we do cheese, so I added it!) I served this with an big homemade salad. My niece Haley is enjoying learning to bake, so she made gluten free, almost no sugar strawberry shortcakes for dessert. They were super!!!

 Stuffed Peppers
4 green bell peppers
1.5 lbs ground beef 
Butter, 4T total, divided 
3 cans whole tomatoes ( I used home canned, you can buy)
1 small can tomato paste
1 small onion, diced
Italian spice mix, 2 tsp (or if you have fresh herbs on hand, even better-just add them last minute rather than when I direct in this recipe)
1 red pepper, very finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup diced green onions ( this is a guess-I didn't measure, went with a handful really)
1/2 cup mushrooms, very finely diced ( I used dried mixed mushrooms that I rehydrated, but fresh is great if you have them)
salt/pepper to taste
 1cup Shredded Italian Cheeses (optional for topping- great w/o too if you don't do dairy at all)

First get your sauce going.. (if you want a short cut, buy a good quality no sugar added tomato sauce) otherwise...
Saute onion in 2T butter.
Add in garlic and saute briefly, then Add in your canned tomatoes (with juice), dried spices, and tomato paste.  Now puree all together using an immersion blender ( or if you don't have one you could use a food processor here) Next, Add 1/2 parmesan rind (optional). 
Set this on to a simmer and let it go while you do everything else ( stir occasionally)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Next prep all of your remaining ingredients. 
Brown ground beef in a dab of butter, and then drain off the fat. Add more butter to pan (2T) and now saute your red pepper and mushrooms till soft over a med-low heat. Next, add in one clove of garlic and chives and briefly saute. 
Next add in your beef and 2 or 3 ladles of your tomato sauce. Combine all thoroughly and then turn your heat to SIMMER and leave it be...
Place a ladle or two of the sauce, enough to cover the bottom of your 9X13 pyrex pan, now place in your prepped Bell Peppers, cover the pan with aluminum foil and put in the oven at 375 for 20 or 30 minutes. (You are just getting your peppers softened here) 
After they are semi-softened, pull them out and fill to overflowing with beef mixture. If you have any leftover just put the extra beef into the bottom of the pan with the tomato sauce. Next, ladle enough sauce to cover each of the peppers. Top with cheese (if you are using cheese) and put it back into the oven for approx 30 minutes, till nice and bubbly.

My kids all gave this a big thumbs up!!! They want me to make it again soon, so I thought it would be a good one to share. I hope some of you try it out!!!

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