I tried making these stuffed tomatoes with lemon and garlic where, instead of rice, you used riced cauliflower. (I didn’t use the brand of flavored riced cauliflower that was recommended, because it contains lactose, so I had plain riced cauliflower that I flavored myself with lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper.) And the truth is, I’m really not a big fan of riced cauliflower. So I decided to make the classic stuffed peppers, with a recipe that didn’t call for too much rice. I used this one, and it was delicious!
Of course, you can adapt with the protein and cheese of your choice, and I threw in some cumin (I wrote it down below). You could also use brown rice or another grain altogether. This recipe calls for cutting the top off the peppers and stuffing them right-side-up, and they all fit in my 9”x13” baking dish; some people prefer to slice bell peppers lengthwise, and in that case, you’ll need a baking sheet or two. My kids were not really impressed, but at least you can take the stuffing out of the offending bell pepper and salvage something. But I loved this dish!
½ cup uncooked rice
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. cumin kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 bell peppers, tops and cores removed
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (lactose-free)
freshly chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 °F.
In a small saucepan, prepare rice according to package instructions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.
Return beef mixture to skillet, then stir in cooked rice and diced tomatoes. Season with oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Let simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
Place peppers cut side-up in a 9”x13" baking dish and drizzle with oil. Spoon beef mixture into each pepper and top with cheddar, then cover baking dish with foil.
Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbly, 10 minutes more.
Garnish with parsley before serving.