Friday, September 10, 2010

Stuffed Peppers (pizza?) and Wilted Spinach Salad with figs

I started this recipe with full intentions of using ground beef and bacon....and after tasting it while cooking it just didn't seem quite right. So I added a couple of "andoullie" sausages to perk up the flavor. 'Twas a good idea! I also realized upon consumption...that the flavors were reminiscent of pizza (BONUS!). This is one meat-packed pepper. Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers

4 medium-sized green bell peppers
8 slices applewood smoked bacon
3 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion, minced
1 pound grass fed ground beef
2 andoullie sausages (I used the cooked kind, chopped into small pieces)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
2 tablespoons almond flour
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the bacon in a large frying pan until crisp. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Crumble when cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat in the pan and pour out the rest. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until soft, stirring often. Add in the ground beef, bay leaf and italian seasoning, cook through, stirring often. (While the ground beef is cooking, cut the top 1/2 inch off the peppers and remove the seeds. Save the tops for another use). When beef is cooked, add the tomato paste, almond flour (to thicken), crumbled bacon and chopped sausages. Stir and cook another 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fill each green pepper to the top with the ground beef mixture. Place the filled peppers in an oiled baking dish (whatever they'll fit into. I used an 8x8 glass dish) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Wilted Spinach Salad

1/4 cup walnuts, cut in half
4 dried figs, quartered lengthwise
5 cups fresh spinach
1 tablespoon walnut oil plus more for drizzling

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and cover with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Toast the nuts, shaking/stirring occasionally, just until light brown - about 5-7 minutes. Take off the heat and set the nuts aside in a bowl.

In the same pan, heat the 1 tablespoon walnut oil to medium heat, and add in the spinach leaves. Stir constantly to just wilt the spinach (2-4 minutes total), you don't want to cook it all the way through. Sprinkle with figs and walnuts and an extra drizzle of walnut oil. Serve along side the stuffed peppers.

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