I had these peppers when we lived in Teheran, Iran (I was a young girl then). Our maid used to make them for us occasionally. She put raisins in the meat filling, but that jacks up the carbs too much so I don’t put them in the filling now that I’m a low-carber. She also used bulgur wheat, whereas I used very lower-carb hemp seeds. Even with my changes, the peppers themselves have quite a few grams of carbs. But they are so good for you, so I don’t care. I’m going to fix stuffed peppers once in awhile. One of these was filling enough to satisfy me as a meal. 🙂 These are suitable once you get to Phase 2 Atkins. Keto folks can probably fit these macros into their day with menu planning. These are also suitable for those following Primal or Paleo programs.
4 medium-large green peppers (or any other color you like)
20 oz. lean ground beef
2½ oz. onion, chopped
3/4 c. chopped parsley
1 14.5-oz (total) can diced low-sodium tomatoes
3 T. hemp seeds/hearts (or soaked bulghur wheat, with higher carbs)
1 tsp. each turmeric, dried mint and dried dill
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash each salt and pepper
VARIATIONS: Use ground lamb instead of beef. Use cooked lentils instead of hemp seeds (carbs will go up with lentils). If you are in maintenance and can afford the extra carbs, add 2 T. snipped raisins to the meat mixture before filling the peppers.
DIRECTIONS: Cut the tops off the peppers. Pull out the seed cluster and discard. Save the “lids” if you want to use them for plate presentation, otherwise, chop the flesh and save all but the stem in a baggie in the refrigerator for future pepper needs. Parboil the peppers in a braising/soup pot of water 1″ deep for just 2-3 minutes to slightly cook them. Carefully drain off water and stand the peppers cut-side up in the pot. Set aside for now.
For the filling, in a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat and onion together. Add half of the can of tomatoes (just solids) to the meat and stir. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer 5 minutes to cook off any water in the tomatoes. Preheat oven to 350º while you are simmering the meat. After 5 minutes of cooking, spoon the filling equally into the peppers. Place pepper “lids” on top if using. Pour the remaining diced tomatoes and their liquid down into the bottom of the pan around the peppers as shown below to help the peppers remain moist during cooking. Pop your cook pot into a 350º oven for about 40-50 minutes. The amount of time will depend upon the size of your peppers and the thickness of the pepper “walls”. Bigger/thicker peppers will take more time. If they look like they are about ready to collapse, they’re definitely done! As the filling is totally cooked, you just want to cook the peppers until they are tender and not fall-apart stage, so keep an eye on them (ovens vary).
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 stuffed peppers, each contains approximately:
391 cals, 22g fat, 17.07g carbs (in the tomatoes and peppers), 5.9g fiber, 12.17g NET CARBS, 32.7g protein, 443 mg sodium