What's Cookin' Wednesday - Grain-Free Stuffed Peppers with a Kick + Plan to Eat Review

Last week, Daniel's Uncle Pat brought us some ground venison, which he does regularly, and I was going to make burgers. That is, until I saw 3 bell peppers in the fridge and was inspired to make stuffed peppers. Daniel grew up eating this dish with rice, and we've made it like that before, but I wanted to add some extra veggies and something special to the mix. I roamed the interwebs for some inspiration and came up with the following, inspired by Cuban Picadillo and with another childhood favorite: El Pato.

Grain-Free Stuffed Peppers with a Kick


Stuffed Peppers

  • 6 bell peppers, tops removed and seeded (just barely cut the tops off so that there is a little curve left to help keep the mixture in the pepper)
  • 1 LB ground venison (use any ground meat you want)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • garlic, minced (as much as you want - I put in about 6 cloves - oh yeah!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Italian spices (a blend or any combination of oregano, basil, etc.)
  • 1/2 C almond flour
  • 1/2 C green olives (I used garlic stuffed; optional)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • salt and pepper (I used about 1 tsp salt and 10 grinds of pepper

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 small (7 3/4 oz) can of El Pato 
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon 
  • 1-2 C liquid (I used chicken broth, but you could use water as well)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pull out the ground meat and eggs and let them come to room temperature while you prepare the ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a bowl, combine ground meat, diced onion, garlic, eggs, spices, almond flour, olives, and zucchini
  4. Place the prepped peppers into a dutch oven or pot that can fit into the oven. 
  5. Fill the peppers with the mixture.
  6. For the sauce, mix tomato paste, El Pato, vinegar, mustard, spices, garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste in a bowl. 
  7. Pour most of the sauce in the bottom of the dutch oven, reserving enough to top the peppers.
  8. Top the peppers with the remainder of the sauce.
  9. Add more liquid to the dutch oven (such as chicken broth or water). You want the pot about 1/3 full of liquid so that the peppers get a bit soft (and you have a tasty, rich sauce to top your cooked pepper).
  10. Cover the pot and cook for 50-60 minutes. 
  11. We ended up pulling the peppers out at 50 minutes, put the pot on the stove top to bring liquid to a boil, and placing back into the oven for 10 minutes - (so, right before 50 minutes is up, turn on stove top).
  12. Let cool down a bit before serving. 
  13. Top with fresh chopped parsley, cilantro, or scallions and maybe a bit of greek yogurt (optional). Cut one in half if you can't eat the entire pepper - half was pretty filling for me. 

One meal planning tool that has been helping me organize recipes is Plan to Eat. I'm very impressed with this site! It's free to try for 30 days with no credit card information required. If you decide to stay on, it's only $4.95/month or $39/year!

It's kind of like Pinterest, except that by saving a recipe, you actually input all of the ingredients into the database and it generates a grocery list for you. There are various ways to save a recipe, and all are so simple and quick. Check out this tutorial here:

Brilliant! I have recipes in Google docs, in email, on Pinterest, and in cookbooks. Whenever people ask me for recipes, I glean them from multiple sources and it can be time consuming. I've been enthusiastically building up my recipe database in Plan to Eat and will happily pay for this service once my trial is over. Oh, and you can keep your entries private or share them, so you can search recipes that others have shared as well (again, kind of like Pinterest), except the ingredients in it will populate a grocery list for you. So much time saved! I cannot rave enough about this product!

What's cookin' in your kitchen this week? How do you organize your recipes? Tell me in the comments below.

B Well,