Trader Joe’s Stuffed Peppers with Seasoned Turkey & Rice

This is an oldie but a goodie – and it’s only an oldie because my local Trader Joe’s have not carried this before even though from what I understand these are sold at other Trader Joe’s.  So when I spotted the Trader Joe’s Stuffed Peppers with Seasoned Turkey & Rice I made sure to pick up a pack.
I’m a big stuffed pepper fan, so much that I make them at home from time to time. My personal stuffed peppers are quite simple, with simple ingredients and these stuffed peppers are flavorful, bold and simply delicious.  They’re made up of a large red pepper, split in half and stuffed with a mixture of turkey, rice, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, onions, sauce and spices. I will note, there is fennel seed in it, which gives the turkey meat a sausage quality which really makes it unique.  The vegetables for the most part are cut up pretty small so it’s not like chunks of mushrooms, but more like slivers throughout the mixture.  It was a little reminiscent of the stuffed peppers I make, just a lot bolder with new and unique flavors.  They’re filling and simply delicious.  I enjoyed them and will repurchase these again.
A serving is 1 pepper (1/2 the container), which is 190 calories or 5 points plus values. You could eat the entire container for 10 points plus values.  Definitely worth it!
QUESTION:
What is your favorite prepared meal from Trader Joe’s?

Stuffed Peppers


Growing up my mother made THE best stuffed peppers (she still does).  She makes them the way my grandmother made them which also means they’re a family favorite. I’ve since learned how to make them and since becoming a Weight Watcher I’ve changed the recipe up just a tad (really only changing the ground beef and the choice of sauce) to make it a bit more point friendly.  The flavor is still there, it’s still reminiscent of my mother’s stuffed peppers and better yet she has even given them the stamp of approval!
As I got older, I realized that stuffed peppers can and are made in a wide range of ways. Bake, boil, par-boil, etc. Ingredients are plentiful and widely different.  You name it, it’s done.  But I will say, I’ve tried stuffed pepper recipes which are baked and par-boiled … but this way has always stolen my heart and taste buds. Perhaps that’s just because of how I’m used to having them but they’re perfect.
These can be eaten plain, as they are … but I do enjoy them with a little bit of ketchup on them. Again, childhood thing and it’s something I’ve never outgrown.  Another great thing about these is you can increase or shrink the recipe to however many peppers you’re aiming to make.  I’ve made 6 which was dinner for 3 individuals back-to-back, and then I’ve made 12 because we were having dinner guests.
I will point out my favorite way to have the peppers is with a tried and true green bell pepper. I feel it brings out more of the meat flavor and holds up during the boiling process a bit better.  I’ve also switched out my choice of pasta sauce using either canned (when making a smaller batch) or jarred when making more than 6.
Serves 6. Serving size 1 stuffed pepper. 10 points plus values.
Ingredients:
          6 Medium Bell Peppers (red or green – just try to keep them around the same size)
          1 large onion, chopped
          1 ½ lbs 93% lean ground beef, raw
          1 ½ cups uncooked white rice (I prefer Goya Golden Canilla I find the rice keeps shape and doesn’t mush up but any white rice will do)
          1 can Hunts Pasta Sauce – Chunky Vegetable
          1 ½ tsp salt
          1 1/2 tsp black pepper
          Water
Wash peppers and cut to remove the stems and inner seeds. You can either take off the whole top, or cut a hole into it. Make sure to leave the pepper intact – like a bowl.
In a large bowl combine raw ground beef, rice, onion, salt and black pepper. Mix to combine (I use my hands).  Add in about ½ can of sauce and combine until well incorporated throughout the meat and rice mixture.
Stuff each pepper with equal amounts of meat. It’s okay if the peppers have a rounded top to them. Place the peppers into a deep pan that has a matching lid.
Fill the pan with water so the peppers are covered roughly ½ way up the sides.  Pour remaining sauce over the top of the peppers and into the water.
Place the pan over a medium flame until water begins a mild boil.  Cover, lower flame to medium-low.  Cook for approximately 40-45 minutes.  You can test if it’s done by making sure the rice granules are cooked through. If not done after 45 minutes, cook for 5-minutes longer.

Skinnytaste Turkey Stuffed Peppers

I’m an avid Skinnytaste fan so I recreate a lot of the recipes Gina publishes.  One of those recipes was for her Turkey Stuffed Peppers.
One thing with my cooking is I do tend to change up recipes just a bit to cater to my style and to my boyfriends taste.  In this case, I completely eliminated the use of cheese because I’ve never had stuffed peppers with cheese on them in my life and my boyfriend hates cheese – therefore it was unnecessary in my recipe and I was very happy with the result.  Even eliminating the cheese, the points plus stayed the same – which is fine with me because my normal homemade stuffed peppers (mom’s recipe) are a lot more than 5 points!
The preparation was quite simple, the whole thing was easy peasy.  The best part was the taste – it was delicious.  I admit, I ate mine with a little bit of ketchup on it because that’s how I grew up eating my stuffed peppers.
If you want the recipe, please find it here on the Skinnytaste site: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/turkey-stuffed-peppers-45-pts.html
QUESTION:
Have you ever made turkey stuffed peppers?

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Dinner: Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

 A few weeks back I had been looking for something new to throw into the eating schedule.  I had found this amazing website through one of the Weight Watchers girls I follow on Instagram.  Her photo looked amazing and I wanted to make them for dinner.  So I ended up picking up all the goodies needed to make this and when I told my boyfriend our menu I had mentioned the fact a dish was vegetarian.  That was my first problem (LOL) my boyfriend is not a fan of vegetarian dishes.  He literally looked at me like I had just kicked a puppy.  So I said “uh, do you want me to add hamburger or turkey to the recipe?” and he said “Yes…” so into the freezer I went and I pulled out a pack of lean hamburger and let it defrost.  I basically followed the entire recipe (see recipe here: http://www.laaloosh.com/2012/09/04/stuffed-pepper-enchiladas-recipe/) except I added meat into it and I mixed all my ingredients in a bowl and then filled the peppers.  Since my boyfriend does not like cheese I ended up putting cheese on half of the peppers and no cheese on the remaining.  I will say it’s a completely different twist and unlike anything I have ever had.  I did enjoy it and I ate it for lunch and dinner a few times.  I did enjoy them and will be making them again at some point in the future.