Friday, 15 January 2016

Skinny Stuffed Peppers

Gemistes or Stuffed Vegetables (peppers in this case) are a mid-week favourite at our house, they are quick and easy to prepare so; perfect for our busy lifestyles.

In my quest of healthier eating and losing weight, I created this 'skinny' version using cauliflower rice instead of my usual basmati, and just a little lean steak mince for some protein and iron.

This recipe makes enough mix for x4 stuffed tomatoes or peppers but if you want to make a bigger batch of the filling, it freezes well.

Each stuffed pepper contains around 250 calories and you can serve with your choice of accompaniments – here I had a side salad, 100g sweet potato fries and 30 feta for a really lovely balanced meal.

I highly recommend also preparing your own low-calorie tzatziki to accompany the gemistes too which you can do by combining 3 tbsp 0% fat natural yoghurt, 50g cucumber (grated), one minced garlic clove and a few mint leaves - 1 tbsp is around 30 calories so it's well worth the effort for a real taste of Greece. 

Skinny Stuffed Peppers

Here's how:

  • 150g lean steak mince
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • X4 peppers or beef tomatoes (for stuffing)
  • 100g cauliflower
  • Handful fresh mint leaves 
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pepper (any colour)
  • 1 large tomato

Firstly place 10ml coconut oil into a non-stick pan and place onto a gentle heat.

Now finely dice the onion, mince the garlic and place into the pan.

Now cut the rest of the vegetables (barring the cauliflower) into small cubes, of the same sort of size and set aside for the minute.

Either blitz your cauliflower in a blender or if you prefer a slightly coarser, larger texture like myself, use a box grater and simply grate it, leaving to one side.

Once the onions have softened, add the lean steak mince and season with a pinch of black pepper and salt. Use a spatula to move the meat around and prevent it from sticking together.

Once the meat has started to brown add the oregano and cinnamon and stir and then add the tomato, pepper and courgette and allow to fry for a few more minutes.

Skinny Stuffed Peppers

At this point pop the oven on to 180 degrees and prepare the tomatoes or peppers for stuffing. If using peppers, simply slice the top off, and remove the seeds, retaining the top (stalk too) for a lid. If using the tomatoes, gently slice the tops off (also retaining) and then with a sharp knife cut out all of the flesh, leaving just the shell of the tomato behind. Then add a smidge of salt to the inside of each one and turn upside down to draw out a little of the moisture and prevent it from becoming too soggy during cooking.

Back to the meat mix, by now you will be ready to add the cauliflower rice and simply fry with all of the other filling ingredients for around 2 minutes then remove the pan from the heat.

Now finely slice the mint leaves - be generous here as these leaves will give great flavour to the finished dish. Now stir through the meat and vegetable mix.

Now place the peppers or tomatoes into an oven proof dish, and spoon in the filling till each is tightly packed full. Place the lid on top of each and of mot secure, use skewers or cocktail sticks to hold in place during cooking. Now loosely cover with foil and place into the oven for forty minutes.

Skinny Stuffed Peppers

 Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with your choice of accompaniments. Enjoy!

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