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Stuffed Green Peppers and Creole Sauce

Actually, you can use green, orange, yellow, or red peppers (there isn't really that much taste difference) and it looks prettier and is more fun if you do, so the title is a tad misleading :).  This is a colorful, different way to eat your vegetables.  Maybe you can even get your kids to try it!  If you decide to make the Creole Sauce, you can do it up to several days in advance and keep it in your refrigerator.  If you use just regular tomato sauce, you'll need to spice up the meat mixture a little more.  You can also do the rice in advance to speed things along (or use up leftover rice from another meal).

Stuffed Green Peppers

3 large peppers, you choose the color
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp grated onion or 1 green onion, minced
1/3 Cup celery, finely chopped
1-1/2 Cups cooked brown or white rice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce or homemade Creole Sauce (recipe below)
(if using plain tomato sauce, add 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder to the meat mixture)

Wash peppers; cut in half lengthwise; remove seeds and cut away seed parts, leaving a clean shell.  Place in boiling salted water and boil 5 to 8 minutes until tender.  Remove from water and drain thoroughly.

While peppers are cooking, brown meat, onion, and celery together.  Add rice and seasonings.  Stir in 1 can tomato sauce, or 1 Cup Creole Sauce to moisten meat. 

Fill pepper shells with meat mixture.  Top with tomato sauce or Creole Sauce.  Can be eaten immediately or reheated in a 375 oven until hot through.

Creole Sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 Cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2-1/2 Cups canned tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar
1 small bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute green pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium low heat until vegetables are soft, but not browned.  Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking over low heat 40 to 50 minutes or until thick.  Makes about 2 cups.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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