I feel like I owe an apology to Gina at skinnytaste.com. I tried her recipe for turkey stuffed peppers, using ground beef instead of ground turkey, and was pretty unenthused by the result. This was my post about it. I didn’t think the flavor was good enough, and the texture put me off, as well. I pretty much decided to go back to the first recipe that I’d tried, which I wrote about here, even though it was much more fattening.
But I decided recently to give Gina’s recipe another chance, this time with ground turkey, as she intended. Other changes:
- My cilantro was pureed and in a tube in the fridge, not cut up freshly on my cutting board. I think this led to me using a lot more of it.
- Instead of 1/4 cup of tomato sauce in the meat mixture, I used closer to a half cup. And I used leftover homemade pizza sauce instead of tomato sauce from a can. It was richer, sweeter, and spicier than plain old tomato sauce.
- I used fresh, homegrown garlic, rather than stuff from a jar.
- My cooked rice was fresh, hot, and fluffy, rather than cold and clumpy and straight from the fridge.
- I put a little bit more pizza sauce on top of the stuffed peppers before cheesing them up and baking them. Not a ton, maybe about a spoonful.
So, other than the meat change, not huge changes.
But the end result was SO MUCH BETTER.
For one thing, they were juicier. I’m not sure why. And the texture of the cooked meat was much less off-putting. I’m not sure if it was because it was turkey and not beef, or if I had cooked the beef a little long, or if it had something to do with the hot, fluffy rice and extra tomato sauce, but it was a definite improvement.
I’m pleased by the change because the texture is what I disliked the most last time. Now I feel like I can make this again.
As for the taste, I remember thinking it was bland last time. I didn’t get that sense this time at all. I’m not sure if it was using (probably) more cilantro, or using fresh garlic, or using the homemade pizza sauce and more of it.
Whatever the difference was, it was a good one.
So Gina at SkinnyTaste, I am sorry. Your recipe is damn good.