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Ricotta Center Stuffed Peppers

vanessamc246, Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect

I made these one night on a whim, because I had some left over ricotta cheese that I wanted to finish.  What happened was pure deliciousness!  My family loved these, loved the "surprise" in the center, and asked me to put them into our weekly rotation.  Now I make at least six at a time, so I can take the leftovers to work for my lunch the following few days.  These are clean eating and gluten free certified!!

 6 red peppers (sometimes I use orange and yellow too)
2 pounds ground turkey, chicken, or lean beef (I used chicken)
2 eggs
1/2 cup ground flax seed
10 oz. part skim ricotta cheese (this is all I had left from a 16 oz container, but you could use more or less)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I have homemade portions in the freezer to use when I want, but you could use jar sauce as well)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 TBSP thyme
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup of shredded part skim mozzarella (optional)

vanessamc246, Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except peppers, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese, and mix well.
3. Slice the top off each pepper and clean out the center of the peppers.
4. Place each pepper in an oven safe dish, where they will not fall over (I use a foil muffin tin and place the bottom of each pepper in the muffin tin and then place the muffin tin in a rectangle pyrex baking dish).
5. Fill each pepper half way with meat mixture.
6. Take a large spoonful of ricotta cheese and spoon on top of each half-filled pepper.
7. With the remaining meat mixture, fill up each pepper to the top.
8. Place pan of peppers in the oven, and cook approximately 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers.
9. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on the top of each pepper for the last 3 minutes of baking.

vanessamc246, Vanessa McLaughlin, The Butterfly Effect

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