Holy moly. I got so spoiled after running outside in 50 and 60 degree weather that I completely forgot how terrible it is running in 90 degree weather with approximately 800 percent humidity. Yikes.
It felt like running through a wet wool blanket. Not comfortable.
I’ve been focusing on weights and strength training lately, taking advantage of the time I get during work for exercise, but as a result I’ve been slacking in the outdoor running department. Short bursts on the treadmill is fine for warming up and cooling down, but I’d much rather do 2 or 3 miles on an outdoor trail or path than indoors, staring at the parking lot at work.
So today I had to leave work early for a dentist appointment and once I got home (and after I accidentally sort of napped for 30 minutes), I laced up my running shoes and headed outside!
Have I mentioned it was 90 degrees and approximately 800 percent humidity? Wow.
Oh – and I once again had to change my route to avoid the crazy man-eating geese that hang out by the lake I like to run around. Seriously? I’m scared of geese. Seriously?!
I ended up doing a very sweaty two miles and called it a day. It was tough, and hot, but I felt great afterwards!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about these cauliflower-rice-and-ground-beef-stuffed-peppers.
I found myself with a couple of bell peppers that needed to get used up, so I decided to try my hand at stuffed peppers. I’ve never made them before, but I know that generally they are made with a combination of ground beef and rice. Easy enough! I already had the peppers and cauliflower, and there was a package of ground beef hiding in my freezer, so I was set!
Unlike most of my recipes, this one actually took a little work. And we all know that for me, anything more than throwing all of the ingredients together and calling it dinner is work. But even though this recipe was a little more involved, it was still pretty simple. I sauteed onions and garlic in a pan and added the ground beef to brown.
Then I added my cauliflower “rice” (I used the food processor to grate it), chopped zucchini, and half of a bottle of my favorite tomato sauce and stirred to combine. (Save the other half of the sauce – you’ll need it!)
Meanwhile, (I hate when recipes use the word “meanwhile”. It means I have to pay attention to more than one thing at a time, which I’m terrible at. But don’t tell my office that!) I had to blanch the peppers – I dumped them in a pot of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes, until they started to get a little soft.
Then I stuffed the peppers with the mixture and added them to my baking dish, which I had layered with the rest of the sauce.
And then, for the last ten minutes of baking, I added fresh mozzarella cheese! Because really, everything is better with cheese. Oh – but I baked the peppers in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes – adding the cheese for the last ten.
I’m not giving out a specific recipe with amounts, because you’ll notice that the amount of ground beef and rice mixture above was WAY more than what I used to fill the peppers. But you’ll be happy to know that it tastes great just as is, or you could also serve it with spaghetti squash! I love when one cooking experience makes three different meals.
This is one of those meals that could easier serve a dinner party of 8-10 people. I used one pound of ground beef and could have made (I’m estimating) 6 medium sized peppers easily. Add a salad and you’re done! Plus, they do have a certain little elegance to them, don’t they?
Or maybe it’s just me. Or the excellent cabernet franc I paired with them.