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Stuffed Tomatoes and/or Peppers

4  large tomatoes and/or bell peppers

1 cup hot cooked rice or quinoa

1/2 lb ground beef or turkey OR 1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped small

1 small onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

handful of fresh herbs: basil, parsley, savory, etc.

1 egg, beaten (can be omitted)

olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

freshly grated Parmesan cheese (can be omitted)

Heat oven to 375. Prepare tomatoes and/or peppers.

Tomatoes - slice off top. Run a paring knife around the inner rim, loosening up flesh on the inside. Scoop out juice & seeds of tomato, leaving a hollow in the center.

Peppers - slice off top and remove seeds OR cut into halves and remove seeds. (If peppers don't stand well, I find it easier to cut them in half and lay flat to stuff them. Also works great for jumbo peppers.) If desired, peppers can be steamed for about 10 minutes here to soften.

In a large pan over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil for a few minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and ground meat and/or cubed eggplant, and tomatoes. Saute until cooked through,and tomato juice is reduced and thickened. Add seasonings and herbs to taste. Mix in hot rice, and beaten egg.

Place tomatoes and/or peppers in a baking dish so that they fit tightly. Top with Parmesan. Bake in 375 oven for about 35- 40 minutes, until tender and lightly browned on top.

Serves 4-6.


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