Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CEiMB - Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

Lately I have been obsessed with vampires. I keep thinking back to my first experience with them and it was a show called Dark Shadows. I was really too young to understand all about it so my memories are fuzzy. I just remember Barnabas and I remember how the vampire would summon a woman to him and she would walk willingly to wherever he was and give freely of her neck. Didn't they know they would die if they did that?

My next obsession with vampires became the Ann Rice novels. I remember reading her books and then seeing the movie Interview with a Vampire. I was distraught for days over that sweet child (Kirsten Dunst) being a vampire and seductress in that movie!! Then there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I first saw the movie and loved Peewee Herman's death scene. He should have received an oscar for that one I tell ya. Then there was years of the tv show after that. Spike was my favorite character on that show. I really loved a show called Blood Ties a year or so ago, but it went off the air. That vampire was hot. I guess now that I have read the Twilight series my obsession has returned because I am counting the days, hours, and minutes until the second movie comes to the theaters. Aren't you glad I shared my "dark side" with you before we talk about food?

The Healthy Hostess from our Craving Ellie in My Belly group chose Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers for our challenge this week. It is a lot of fun to cook with everyone in the group. If you would be interested in joining our group, jump over to the website and check it out. We cook something from Ellie's cookbook once a week and post about it on Thursdays!

I love stuffed peppers so I was very excited about making these. The DH does not like them, even a little bit. Even if they are diced as small as a pencil eraser. I told him when I made these that he could just eat the stuffing and call it good. He was okay with that.
I changed them up a bit from Ellie's recipe just because I was short on ingredients this week. I left out the bulgar and substituted cooked rice. My frozen spinach had an expiration date of March 2007 so I tossed it in the garbage and used some fresh spinach that I had on hand. I did not have stewed tomatoes so I used tomato sauce. And I used green peppers instead of red because the red ones were just so much more expensive! Left off the feta because I just don't care for that taste with cooked foods. Other than that, pretty much followed Ellie's recipe!!

These were easy to make and really delicious. I've been happy with most of Ellie's recipes so far. I just love trying new foods and this gives me that opportunity to step out of my box and be different.
Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup bulghur
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, cores and ribs removed
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium stewed tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the beef, spinach, zucchini, onion, bulghur, egg, oregano, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Arrange the pepper halves cut side up in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and fill each pepper half with the meat mixture. Pour the tomatoes over the peppers and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the meat mixture is completely cooked and the peppers are tender, about 25 minutes longer.


Sara said...

These look so good! I have some frozen spinach I need to use up, so I will definitely try them.

Anonymous said...

I loved Blood Ties too. I was bummed when it didn't come back. You should read the books they are based off of. I really liked them :)

Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds great. My peppers didn't cook enough.:(
I've only read one Ann Rice book, that was enough for me!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

If you haven't already you should totally check out the Underworld Movie series (the 1st one was great, the 2nd was worth watching, I give no warranty for the new one). Then again maybe I just like them because I'd let Kate Beckinsale turn me any time (shhhh.. don't tell Sara!)

Dish looks good as well. Spinach from 2007, yikes!

-- Nick

Mary Ann said...

Looks yummy! I like that you used fresh spinach- I bet that added a nice flavor instead of the frozen.

Jen said...

Your peppers look great peggy!! I guess I overstuffed mine which resulted in them being raw in the middle! Oh well, better luck next time!

Maria said...

Great stuffed peppers! Such a tasty meal!

Aggie said...

I'm going to have to make these...even if I'm a little late. They look and sound so good!!

PS...I've been a little obsessed with vampires lately b/c of the Twilight you have any books you'd recommend??

Leslie said...

I bet the tomato sauce made these nice and juicy! I always like to use fresh ingredients, and I have spinach in the fridge so I'm disappointed I didn't use that instead of buying frozen! Your peppers look great and tasty!

The Blonde Duck said...

I loved Buffy- both the movie and TV show! Wasn't Spike a hoot?!?

Pamela said...

Well, it's nice to know that I'm not the only CEiMB member with expired things in the freezer/fridge! ;o) They look good.

farah said...

I bet the fresh spinach was really good in this. They look delicious!

natalia said...

Your peppers are so beautiful !!!

Anonymous said...

Oh I am ready for the movie too. Your peppers look yummy. My husband only ate the filling too.