Can you sense it? Despite the high temperatures and long evenings, summer is on the wane. We always notice the upcoming change by the subtle differences in the morning light, something that we native Californians never get tired of seeing. With Labor Day Weekend just around the corner, afternoons at the pool, tall pitchers of iced tea and fragrant back yard grilling will soon be a fond memory. It’s time to blow the dust off of your fall recipe books and get ready for savory, satisfying dinners as the leaves begin to turn into their own colorful heralding of the changing season.
All across the state, Farmer’s Markets abound with their fresh fruits and vegetables waiting for our tables. Fresh is best when it comes to food and buying local produce is the best way to accomplish this. It also supports our local farms, helps our local economy and keeps a lot of emissions from huge trucks out of our clean air. The NC Farm Center , as well as the Farmers Market Association of North Carolina are both associations that are dedicated to sustainable agriculture and work hard to promote the preservation of our natural farming resources, while keeping local farming a profitable lifestyle. A trip to the Farmers Market does all of this as well, and is a lot of fun to boot. But our busy schedules sometimes proclude the extra time to do so. Lowes Foods realizes this and has made it possible to participate in sustainable agriculture with one shopping trip.
Lowes Foods began as one individual store in Wilkesboro, North Carolina in 1954. Today, it is a major Southeast chain, with stores in both North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia. Lowes has partnered with local farms in these states and two other surrounding states, to provide their fresh fruits and produce in all of their locations. This is no small accomplishment, as until recently, nearly 2/3 of the produce offered in our grocery store chains was from out of the area. Our recent trip to Lowes had us admiring the large displays of fresh, local produce, as well as a terrific bakery, large meat department, a full service deli; in other words, everything and anything you could possibly want is available in a beautiful space, with highly competitive prices. We were on the hunt for fresh green bell peppers, to prepare our favorite stuffed bell pepper recipe. Lowes Foods didn’t disappoint, and you won’t either when you serve our old family recipe, to follow. Check Lowes Food’s link above for a location near you.
Peggy’s Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 1 pound of extra lean ground round
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped fine
- 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 can of tomato soup
- 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of worstershire sauce
- 1/2 cup of beef broth
- 4 large green bell peppers
- 4 slices of Muenster cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the beef broth in the bottom of a baking dish and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the onions until soft. Add the tomatoes and garlic and continue the saute until the tomatoes begin to cook, about five minutes. Remove the mixture and add the ground round, browning it in the same skillet to absorb all the flavors. When browned, add the seasoning, tomato soup and worcestershire sauce and combine well. Remove from heat and set aside.
Wash the peppers, cut off the tops and seed. Parboil in salted water until they begin to tenderize, about five minutes. Remove from the boiling water and stand them up in the broth lined baking dish. Stuff with the meat mixture and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Place a slice of cheese on each and return to the oven for an additional five minutes. This recipe serves four, so feel free to double for more people or terrific leftovers. With garlic mashed potatoes on the side, this is absolutely splendid and nutritious comfort food. Enjoy!