Friday, March 2, 2012

Veggie and Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Yesterday in my ESL class I taught my students the idiom “It’s been a long day.” Needless to say, it didn’t take a lot of explanation for them to understand the meaning. I asked them what they thought it meant and their responses were busy, full, and difficult. Usually “a long day” carries a negative connotation- most good days go by too quickly. But I’ve had some wonderful long days. Vacation days with my husband where we packed in 4 hours of sleep for every 20 hours of activities. Days spent painting or digging or cleaning that ended in a state of accomplished satisfaction. The day I gave birth to my son. Some of those days I’d like to relive, some I’m happy are over, others a combination of both.

I have some long days in my future. I’m sure some will be incredibly hard and others exhaustingly wonderful. Every day I’m not sure if I want to hurry things up or just stop time and enjoy the now. Yesterday I taught my son to hold his own bottle. When he finally got it I beamed with pride while simultaneously feeling an ache that he didn’t need me to do it for him. That’s a tension I’m sure I’ll feel the rest of my life.

This morning was another “long” one. My poor sweet baby cut a new tooth day before yesterday, his second one is halfway through today, and there is another one about to come through. He’s such a trooper! But he did have a rough morning.

This is a recipe I was so excited to finally get around to. I know there are tons of great stuffed pepper recipes out there, and probably some similar to this, but I did have a sense of pride knowing that this entire recipe was planned in my own head.

Sausage and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

~4 regular or 3 large bell peppers
~1/2 sweet onion
~4 oz. frozen spinach (about 1/3 package)
~1/2 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
~1/2 cup dry rice
~2 tablespoons red cooking wine or dry red
~about ½ teaspoon each parsley, oregano, basil
~2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
~3 cloves diced fresh garlic
~about ½ cup shredded mozzarella or mixed Italian cheese
~1/2 pound hot ground sausage

Preheat oven to 375. Cut tops off of peppers (see above) and remove seeds and pulp. Spray a glass pan with non-stick cooking spray, place peppers in pan, and cook in over for 15 minutes until slightly soft. While peppers are cooking: cook rice according to package directions. Dice any use-able pepper flesh from tops of peppers and the onion. Sauté in oil with garlic and wine until onions are translucent. Remove from pan and place in a bowl. Meanwhile, place spinach in a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook sausage with the spices in the same pan used to cook vegetables. Drain sausage of grease on paper towels, then add to the bowl. Once spinach is hot, drain water and add to bowl (use a spoon to press as much water from the spinach as possible). Add rice, tomatoes, and Parmesan to bowl and stir it all together. When peppers have cooked for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and dump any water that has accumulated at the bottom. Stuff peppers with mixture until they beg for mercy. :-) Sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Note: Jeremy suggested that I stuff the pepper in “layers” next time so that there are two layers of mozzarella cheese. Feel free to try it!


  1. Sure do love that toothy boy, and his mama!!

  2. I do LOVE stuffed peppers! If only I had time to cook :) Also, I played/hung out with multiple children this weekend... and it made me miss Malachi! Well and you of course!