Mediterranean Couscous Stuffed Peppers

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I grew up eating stuffed peppers for dinner on a regular basis. It was a favorite. They were filled with ground beef and orzo with diced tomatoes and cheese. Sometimes other add-ins made their way into the mix like corn or beans. I actually made it to adulthood thinking this is how all stuffed peppers were. My thought was that it was a true recipe my parents went by. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I realized my parents were simply pulling together an easy meal with what they had at home, what was on sale, or what they thought might taste good. Most people consider a “traditional” stuffed pepper to be with ground beef, rice, and some type of tomato sauce (I also didn’t learn this one until recent years either).

The creation like what my parents did with the stuffed peppers all those years ago is  similar to how I do a lot of my own cooking now. What is in season? Is there specific produce on sale? Am I in the mood for something specific? Those are some of the big questions that yield the upcoming week’s menu. Today’s recipe is one of those results. In honor of the stuffed peppers I grew up loving, I created my own new version for an easy weeknight meal.  Bell peppers are the perfect vessel and they also provide an easy flavor profile to build off of. They can be filled with just about any combination you can think of.

I used some Greek inspired spices to season up ground chicken I had in my freezer. I then paired the chicken with little pearls of couscous, briny Kalamata olives, earthy spinach, nutty chick peas, and a touch of salty light feta cheese. Stuff all that into your broiled bell peppers and you have one delicious Mediterranean flavored meal.

And Here’s why I love these stuffed peppers so much….

There’s enough to feed the family, but if you’re in a house of two like me, this is one of those great dishes that yields leftovers that are just as tasty the second time around.

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…all for the love of the dish

Missy

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Mediterranean Cous Cous Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3-4 bell peppers (depends on how much filling you want in each)
  • 1 box cous cous (I used Far East Taste, garlic and olive oil)
  • 1/4 sliced kalamata olives
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
  • 4 oz crumbled light feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp each oregano, fresh parsley, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Olive oil to brush peppers

Instructions

  1. Set your oven’s broiler to low.
  2. Wash, halve, and remove seeds from bell peppers. Brush lightly with a tsp of olive oil and place on foil lined pan.
  3. Meanwhile, follow directions to cook your cous cous.
  4. Cook peppers under broiler for about 5-7 minutes or until softened and starting to brown. Remove and set aside.
  5. Mix together salt, pepper, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, garlic powder and onion powder in a small bowl.
  6. Place raw chicken mixture to a large, deep frying pan and cook over medium-high heat until very little pink remains. Add the spice mixture and 1/3 cup water to the pan. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes and mix appropriately so all meat is coasted. Add in spinach and cook until wilted.
  7. Slice your olives into 3 pieces per olive ad wash/dry spinach.
  8. Once chicken and cous cous are ready, you can begin to stuff your peppers. Add the cous cous, olives, chick peas, and half the crumbled cheese to the large pan with the ground chicken and spinach.
  9. Scoop this mixture into the pepper halves. Top off with remaining crumbled feta.
  10. Cook under boiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese begins to slightly brown and bubble. Then serve.
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