Paleo Stuffed Peppers

These babies look good. They taste even better. They are totally grain-free and the parmesan cheese I grated over the top is totally optional. But if you ask me, a stuffed pepper without shredded cheese on top ain't no stuffed pepper.

I feel like since I didn't include rice or quinoa then I can have a little cheese sprinkled on top. 

It's my life.

Let's begin. You need these items:

 Four stuffed peppers.

You don't need to get them in assorted colors, of course. It's cheaper to get them all green but I'm trying to make this look pretty for you guys, so I went with an assortment.

 You also need a red onion, some garlic, asparagus, lemon and parmesan cheese, if you enjoy the good things in life.

 Don't forget the mushrooms and thyme! They are essential.

In terms of seasonings and spices, you need Worcestershire sauce, turmeric and red chili flakes. 

 The porcini salt is completely optional. I am obsessed with porcini mushrooms.

So, when I saw a Wild Porcini Mushroom Sea Salt, I just about screamed and jumped up and down like I had been saved by one of those TV pastors who have those programs that come on in the middle of the night.

"I've been saved! Porcini salt! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! I once was lost, but now I'm found..."

Finally, you need about 1 lb of ground beef. Below is a photo of freshly ground beef from grass-fed chuck roast. It is beyond delicious. The texture and flavor of freshly ground beef makes the pre-ground stuff seem like a punishment.

If you aren't able to grind your own beef and you've only had the pre-ground stuff then just use that. You won't know what you're missing. I was unaware for years. But once you try it, it's over. You can't go back.

It's like going black.

 Ok so now that you have all your ingredients, time to prep them.

Begin by removing the tough ends of the asparagus. All you have to do is bend them and they will naturally snap where they are supposed to.

Then pull the stems off the mushrooms, if you are using whole mushrooms.

Ok, now slice the mushrooms, roughly chop the asparagus and finely dice the onion and garlic.

Now you have your "mise en place," which is a French term for "everything in place". The cooking process should go very smoothly now.

Begin by sautéing the onion first, until it has browned a bit.

Once it browns, add the garlic and cook for just a minute:

Then add the beef and spices.

Cook the beef till it's totally cooked through and then make a well in the pan:

 Add the mushrooms to the well (I love cooking in wells, you don't have to but it soothes my soul).

Toss the mushrooms around in the well until they are coated in the turmeric-tinged yellow beef fat.

What a sentence.

Once the mushrooms have slightly softened, stir them into the beef and add some Worcestershire sauce.

Some fresh thyme:

 And the juice of a half a lemon, or the whole lemon if that tastes better to you.

Add the asparagus.

 Stir and then turn off the heat. The mixture will continue to cook in the oven, so you don't want to overcook the asparagus. I like it when asparagus still has a bit of a snap to it.

 Preheat the oven to 400F, and drizzle a little oil on the baking dish you will be using.

Cut the tops off the peppers and deseed them.

Now stuff them with the beef mixture.

 Place the peppers upright in the baking dish you just greased.

Top with shredded parmesan if you love yourself.

Side note: After stuffing four peppers I had this much of the beef mixture left over:

I placed it in a freezer ziploc bag and popped it in the freezer. The next time I want stuffed peppers I just have to defrost the mixture and stuff the peppers. So easy!

Now the oven should be at 400F. Pop the peppers in the oven and bake for 30 mins or until the parmesan has browned to your liking and the peppers have softened.

Yum.

I didn't bake the tops because I wanted them to retain their shape and color.

Look how pretty they are:

I can't decide which photo I like best.

paleo stuffed peppers 90
paleo stuffed peppers 90

 I totally overloaded you with stuffed pepper pics. I can't help it, they look so good. Almost as good as heirloom tomatoes.

 

RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
4 bell peppers
8 oz mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
1 bunch of asparagus
1 red onion (small)
2 cloves of garlic
juice of half a lemon
bunch of thyme
few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of red chili flakes
pinch of porcini salt (optional)
parmesan cheese, enough to shred over the bell peppers (optional)
S&P, to taste

Directions:

Begin by chopping up all the vegetables. Finely dice the onion and garlic, then slice the mushrooms and roughly chop the asparagus on the diagonal.

Sauté the onions first with a little S&P on medium/high heat.

Once they have browned, add the garlic and cook for about a minute.

Then add the ground beef and spices and cook until the beef is cooked through.

Make a well in the pan and add the mushrooms in the center and sauté that way for a bit, then mix everything together.

Cook for another five minutes or so and then add the asparagus and the juice of half a lemon. Taste for seasonings.

If you think it needs more lemon, add the juice of the other half a lemon cook for like 30 secs and then turn the heat off. You're going to cook the mixture further in the oven so undercook the veggies because they will continue to soften in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 350F. And add a touch of oil to the baking pan you will be using.

Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the beef mixture and place in the baking dish. Grate some parmesan on top of the peppers.

Bake for 30mins or until cheese has melted and browned to your liking.

Enjoy!