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“Never Going Back Again” Stuffed Bell Peppers

It’s happening.

The greatest band on the planet (Fleetwood Mac, if you weren’t aware) is coming to OKC. In March. The month after sweeps.

And I’m going.

The greatest boyfriend in the world bought us two tickets. He doesn’t really know anything about Fleetwood Mac. But, being the amazing boyfriend that he is, he bought me a ticket to see them. It was going to be a Valentine’s Day surprise for me, but he was too afraid I was going to buy tickets myself so he gave them to me early.

Smart man.

So, on March 12th, I get to see my beloved Fleetwood Mac LIVE, and I get to be in the same arena as my spirit animal: Stevie Nicks.

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In light of this recent event, I decided to name my latest paleo creation after one of my favorite songs off of FM’s “Rumours” album. I’ve only had stuffed bell peppers twice in my entire life, including this recipe.

The first time I had stuffed bell peppers, a friend of mine made this ooey-gooey, cheesy delicacy stuffed full of Velveeta, white rice, ground beef, and Rotel. Delicious.

Knowing that recipe was not paleo AT ALL, I set out to make a more primitive-friendly version. This recipe was fantastic, and like the name, I’ll never go back to regular stuffed peppers again.

Before we begin, do you think red bell peppers taste different than green ones? I totally do. I prefer red, orange, and yellow bell peppers to green ones. Maybe I’m just crazy, because I also think different colored M&M’s have distinct tastes from one another. Weird.

“Never Going Back Again” Stuffed Bell Peppers

-4 TBS. Olive oil
-1 yellow onion, finely chopped
-3 carrots, finely chopped
-1 1/2 lbs. ground Italian pork sausage
-1 lb. Ground beef
-2 TBS. dried oregano
-1 TBS. garlic powder
-salt & pepper
-1 large zucchini squash, finely chopped
-3 cups fresh basil
-2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, slightly drained
-5-6 bell peppers
-1 TBS. Louisiana got sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large soup pot filled with water, bring to a boil. In another large pot or deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion an carrots until onion becomes translucent.

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2. Crumble ground sausage & beef into onion mixture. Add dried seasonings, basil, zucchini, and tomatoes. Mix well and then cook meat & veggies on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.

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3. While meat & veggies are cooking, cut tops off the bell peppers and rinse well to remove all seeds. Put rinsed peppers into the pot of boiling water and submerge them for 5-6 minutes until they are slightly soft. Pull out the peppers with tongs, then place them on a baking dish (I used a 9×13 casserole dish). Scoop out meat mixture with a slotted spoon (to help it drain a little bit) and fill peppers with the mixture. Press meat mixture down with a spoon and continue to fill…don’t be afraid, overfill them! The more the merrier. Pop those babies into your preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.

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The next time I make these, I’m definitely going to add some chopped mushrooms. Also, don’t be afraid to cut back on the basil…I absolutely ADORE fresh basil, so I add A LOT to the meat mixture and also put some on top of the finished product!

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Recipe adapted from: Sarah Fragoso, “Everyday Paleo” cookbook. http://www.everydaypaleo.com

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