Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dark Days of Winter Week 1: Stuffed Bell Peppers

The Dark Days of Winter Eat Local Challenge begins this week, and I'm very excited and a little nervous to participate. Some of my favorite foods include bananas, cheese, and avocado--and they don't always fit the SOLE (sustainable, organic, local ethical) criteria, especially here in the DC area. But now that I've spent two summers growing my own vegetables and educating myself about where all my food comes from and how it's grown, I thought the time was right to participate in a challenge like this. And my husband has to participate by default! (One SOLE meal a week is not a hardship, right?).

We ate our first Challenge meal the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and this very simple meal of bell peppers stuffed with ground beef was a perfect end to a weekend of holiday indulgence (i.e, excessive amounts of starch and dessert).

Stuffed Bell Peppers
(serves 2)
- 1 pound ground beef (grass-fed from The Lamb's Quarter, a family-run farm, via my local farmers' market)
- 2 medium-sized bell peppers--yellow, green (my garden)
- 1 tiny purple pepper (my garden)
- 1 tbsp onion scapes (my garden)
- 2 tbsp parsley (my garden)
- 1 tomatillo (my garden)

{please forgive my photo quality; I'm not great at evening shots}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops off the medium-sized peppers, clean out the insides, and boil for about 5 minutes to soften them. Once they have softened, removed them from water and place them on a paper towel to dry off.

Meanwhile, place the ground beef into a skillet on medium heat. Chop all remaining vegetables finely. Add the chopped vegetables to the skillet and cook everything together until all meat has browned. This will be used to stuff the peppers. Once ready, place equal amounts of the stuffing mixture into the scooped out peppers. Bake for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Ordinarily I might top these with cheese or serve them with rice. Although I listed rice as one of the exceptions in my orginial post, I didn't want to play that card yet. I don't yet know of any Virginia or Maryland cheeses that I can get, so we didn't include that yet. This meal was perfect as-is!

{Update: At the farmers' market near my office, I found a dairy that makes cheese right on their own farm, which is less than 100 miles away. Score!}


  1. I admire what you are doing. We now have grower only farmer's markets all around us, and there is always someone selling local cheese. I bet if you try another farmer's market you will find it.

  2. Thanks--actually today on my lunch break I walked down to the farmers' market near my office and found a local cheese-maker. Unfortunately she'll only be there one more week and then the market closes until spring. I'll have to stock up!

  3. How rewarding it is to eat foods from our own garden. Stuff peppers is one of my favorite fall and winter comfort foods when the weather is cool out.. I bet yours was yummy and good for you being that, the beef is beef from grass feed cows I think I once heard Doctor Oz or someone in that profession say that we get healthy doses of Chlorophyll from grass feed animals !

  4. Does sound hearty and delcious indeed.

  5. @Catherine--thanks! :)

    @Vetsy--oh that's interesting! I feel healthier already :) We've bought beef from this vendor before and it's always very tasty.

  6. Our local farmshop has just closed down and we only have a farmers market once a month in our nearest town.


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