Getting toddlers to try new things is easier than you think, especially if you pair something unfamiliar with foods they already love. With this recipe, Calvin doesn't really like the peppers but he loves the filling, which is great because it includes veggies like carrots and zucchini. The beef and sausage combo also make this meal extra filling.
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1 can French's Original Crispy Fried Onions
- One 6-ounce can black olives, sliced
- 1 cup white rice, uncooked
- Two 16-ounce jars of your favorite marinara sauce
- 3 large bell peppers, seeds removed, sliced vertically through the stem
- One 8-ounce package of shredded mozzarella (there will be some left over for snacking)
- Olive oil
1. Sauté the diced onion, carrots and zucchini in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 8-10 minutes, or until the veggies soften. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Once the veggies are tender, add in the ground beef and sausage. Cook the meat until it's brown, breaking it up and mixing it into the veggies.
3. Add in two handfuls of crumbled, crispy fried onions, chopped olives, uncooked rice and 1 jar of tomato sauce. Stir everything together, ensuring that the dry rice is well coated in sauce.
4. Place pepper halves cut side up in a baking dish. Fill each pepper with as much filling as possible. I use an ice cream scoop to pile it high. If there's any extra filling, I just add it in around the peppers.
5. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.
6. Carefully remove the foil (the dish will be steamy), then top each pepper with more crispy fried onions and sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese. Pop the baking dish back into the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
7. Remove the stuffed peppers from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.