Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers with Chicken Sausage and Butternut Squash

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash to make 2 cups “rice”
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups marinara sauce ( follow recipe below to make your own)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For The Peppers:
1 package organic chicken-apple sausage without casing
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
4-5 large bell peppers in assorted colors, halved lengthwise and seeded

For the Marinara Sauce
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I recommend Cento brand)
1/2 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar — to cut acidity

Instructions

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Add the garlic and cook until golden then remove from pan and discard. Turn the heat down and slowly pour the tomatoes into the pot being careful to avoid splattering. Add the water, salt, pepper, basil and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer at a low boil for at least 30 minutes. The longer, the better.

Preheat the oven to 375º.

Make Butternut Squash “Rice.” Peel and chop a medium butternut squash into chunks. Add about half to a food processor and process until it resembles rice. Make enough for about 2 cups.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and cook onion over medium heat until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Transfer half of the onion/garlic mixture to a large bowl and set aside.

To the skillet with the onion add the marinara sauce, broth, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir for one minute.

Pour sauce into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish and set aside.

Chop the sausage into chunks. Add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles ground beef.

To the bowl with the reserved onions add the sausage, diced tomato, parsley, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir in the butternut squash rice and mix well.

Generously stuff peppers with sausage mixture and place in baking dish over the tomato sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, serve with a fresh green salad and enjoy!

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