Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Poblanos

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers. They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Makes 6 peppers.

1 lb. lean ground turkey (I used 90% lean)
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil (or slightly more, depending on your pan)
6 bell peppers, any color
1 small onion chopped
1 large Poblano (Pasilla) pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tsp. Vege-Sal (or slightly less regular salt)
1/2 large head cauliflower
1 cup + 6 T grated low-fat Mozzarella


Preheat oven to 375F/190C.   Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.  (The best size is a dish that will barely fit all the peppers when they’re standing up.)

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the ground turkey breaking it apart with your fingers as you put it in the pan, and cook turkey over medium-high heat until the turkey is completely cooked and starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Use your turner or a potato masher to break the meat apart as it cooks.  (Most ground turkey will release some water, just keep cooking and let that evaporate.)

While the turkey cooks prepare the peppers.  Slice off the stem end, discard the stem, and trim any white parts.  Carefully slice off the bottom end, taking off just enough to make the pepper stand up straight.  Put the peppers into baking dish.  Chop the pepper ends and bottom pieces to make at least 1 cup diced peppers, saving the excess for another use if you have more than that.  Finely chop the Poblano chile and chop the onion.  Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and then pulse in a food processor (or use a big hand grater) to make very small pieces, somewhat the size of cooked rice.  (If you don’t start with small pieces in the food processor, you’ll have a hard time getting them all chopped evenly.)
When the turkey is browned, remove to a plate, wipe out the pan, and heat the other 2 tsp. of olive oil. (You can also do this in a separate pan if you don’t want to wait.)  Saute the onion about 2 minutes.  Add taco seasoning and Vege-Sal and cook about 1 minute more.  Add the chopped bell peppers and Poblanos and saute about 2 minutes.  Then add the chopped cauliflower and cook about 4-5 minutes, or until it’s starting to get soft.  Stir in the browned turkey and turn off the heat.    When the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the 1 cup of cheese.  (If you don’t let the mixture cool for a minute or two, the cheese melts immediately and makes it hard to stuff the peppers.)

Use a spoon to stuff each pepper with the mixture, pressing it down tightly with the spoon.  (Holding each pepper over the pan is less messy than trying to stuff the peppers in the dish.)   When all the peppers are filled, top each one with one tablespoon of grated Mozzarella.  Bake 30-40 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer the whole peppers (I like mine slightly crisp still) or until the cheese is lightly browned.  Serve hot.

This will stay good in the fridge for several days and can be reheated in a microwave or in a toaster oven.  Stuffed peppers can be frozen, but the pepper will definitely soften more when it’s frozen and thawed, so if you’re making extra to freeze I would take some out sooner than the ones you’re eating right away.
Adapted from Kalynskitchen.com