How was your weekend? Ours was packed – Chris and I had date night on Friday at Odd Duck, one of our favorite restaurants in Milwaukee. The food was amazing, and the dessert was even better! We checked out two new breweries afterward for some tasty beer to cap off the night. Saturday was full of fitness and more beer – it’s unseasonably gorgeous outside (61 degrees in February in Wisconsin is unheard of), so I went for a run, followed by yoga at another local brewery, and a walk around the neighborhood with Chris. At night, we poured beer at Food & Froth, a beer festival/fundraiser for the Milwaukee Public Museum. So, all the housework and my long run was left for Sunday.
I’ve finally jumped on the Sunday food prep bandwagon. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long, as the routine of cooking and baking a bunch of food on the weekend is actually quite relaxing. It’s also satisfying to know that most of the week’s meals are ready to go.
But you can’t forget a delicious Sunday dinner! Craving something naughty, but wanting something nutritious, I combined the best of both worlds. The flavors of a cheeseburger are packed into these stuffed bell peppers. Traditional stuffed peppers are made with rice, but to reduce the carbs and increase the veggie intake, I replaced rice with shredded zucchini and carrot. You can’t tell the difference and it is SO much better for you! You can’t forget the cheese, and these peppers use two kinds for a delicious meal you can feel good about. It’s high protein, low carb, vegetarian and gluten free; make this vegan with dairy-free cheese!
Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers, adapted from Skinny Kitchen
- 4 bell peppers, washed, tops sliced off and ribs removed – I used a variety of colors, but use whatever you prefer!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
- 10 oz Beefless Ground – tempeh would work if you crumble it up
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tbsp ketchup – such as True Made Foods, whose condiments are made with all veggies!
- 1 tbsp mustard – any kind works – I used beer mustard
- 1/3 C Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 C shredded mozzarella
- 3 oz shredded aged cheddar – I prefer 5-year aged
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash the bell peppers and slice off the tops. Clean out the seeds and ribs. You may need to also slice just a bit off the bottom of the peppers, if they don’t stand up on their own. Place them in an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish; set aside.
In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and saute the onion with the shredded zucchini and carrot. Cook until everything is nicely browned and the water has cooked out from the veggies. Add the Beefless Ground and cook another 5 minutes, to brown.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard and Bloody Mary mix. Then, mix in the mozzarella.
Use a spoon to pack the cheeseburger mixture into each pepper. Pat down the filling and top each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese.
Carefully pour a cup of water into the base of the baking dish. Sounds weird, but this will help steam the peppers so they’re nice and tender! Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.
Gently remove the baking dish from the oven and use tongs to serve. These taste amazing with beer-soaked oven fries, which can conveniently bake at the exact same time!