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Italian Stuffed Red Peppers

Italian Stuffed Red Peppers

National Wear Red Day® —  the first Friday each February — is our special day to bring attention to this silent killer of women. We encourage everyone to wear red, raise their voices, know their cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives.
This red recipe includes red vegetables, brown rice, ground turkey breast, and olive oil which are components of a heart healthy diet.

Ingredients:  peppers

  • 1 cup brown rice, long or short grain, rinsed with cool water in a sieve for 1 minute
  • 2 cups water or low-fat, reduced-sodium
     chicken broth

  • 3 large red bell pepper 
  • Olive oil cooking spray, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 med. onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and dice
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning(garlic, oregano, basil)
  • 8 oz. ground white-meat turkey
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (seasoned with Italian herbs and/or garlic)
  • 1 can (8 oz.) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. prepared pesto
  • 2 Tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese


1) In a medium saucepan, bring the rice and water or broth to boiling. Lower the heat and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.

2) Set the oven to broil with the rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds and, with a small paring knife, remove the white membrane. Place the peppers cut side up on the prepared baking sheet. Coat each pepper with olive oil cooking spray; 2 to 3 sprays per pepper half. Broil the peppers for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are lightly blistered. Remove the peppers from the oven; set aside.

3) Turn the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots, and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, until the onions are soft and the carrots are bright orange. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the Italian seasoning and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ground turkey and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, just enough to almost cook the turkey meat, breaking the meat into small pieces. Add the cooked rice and mix well.

4) Combine the drained tomatoes, tomato sauce, and pesto; mix well. Add the tomato mixture to the skillet and simmer for 3 minutes.

5) Coat a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Arrange the peppers cut side up in the pan. Stuff each pepper with the turkey mixture. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to bake for 10 minutes. 

6) Set the oven to broil with the rack 6 inches from the heat source. Sprinkle the peppers with the Parmesan cheese. Broil for about 4 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.

Makes 6 servings. Serving size: one-half pepper.

Per Serving :  Calories: 265, Protein: 14 gm, Carbohydrates: 39 gm, Sodium: 230 mg, Fat: 6 gm, Cholesterol: 25 mg

Adapted from Diabetes Forecast