I should mention that there's quite a bit of meat involved in the GAPS diet. I was grooving on a mostly vegan spurt a while back, which felt light and clean in my body at the time. I think I needed to detox in a major way and sort of reset once our two years of sleep deprivation resolved to some degree, and eating tons of plant matter helped get that work done. (As did an Ayruvedic cleanse I did a short while later. I felt like a whole new person after that. Still do.) But I then found myself drawn toward meat again -- high quality, locally-sourced meat that hasn't suffered, that is -- and whenever I get acupuncture I'm told I should be eating it regularly. (Something about building my blood.) Pregnancy only increased my desire for it. So, while it may feel like I'm somewhat all over the place on the subject, good meats remain a part of my, and our family's, diet. As far as GAPS is concerned, that's a healthful thing, especially for expecting mamas.
With that in mind, I made a recipe from the GAPS book (linked above) last night, tweaking it a little to my liking. Aaron and I have each made stuffed peppers before, but only vegetarian versions (they make for an attractive, and generally popular, veg dish). Thus, last night's version -- which were definitely not vegetarian -- were quite different than our previous renditions. They meat is flavorful, but dense. I definitely suggest eating these in a bowl with a good amount of the stock they cooked in surrounding them. I chopped mine up a bit in the stock so as to create a kind of soup, and that was delicious. I also suggest adding whatever vegetables you'd like to the meat mixture before stuffing the peppers, and some cumin. If you're eating dairy, throwing some shredded, raw cheddar cheese in with the meat mixture before cooking would also be kind of amazing... In short, these stuffed peppers are filling and tasty, but I could tell -- even at first glance -- the original recipe was written by a doctor, rather than a chef. I'm eagerly awaiting the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, which is due to arrive at my door any day now; it's recommended by the GAPS people and boasts an index full of mouth-watering recipes. (I peeked at its back pages on Amazon.) Anyway, I've gone ahead and written out my improved (and yummy) stuffed peppers recipe below -- feel free to tweak it further. If you do, let me know what works well!
Click "Read More" below for the recipe!
- 4 large bell peppers
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/2 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup (or more, to taste) chopped or pureed tomatoes
- 1-2 teaspoons cumin powder, to taste
- 1 lb. ground bison
- 1 lb. ground pork
- sea salt and black pepper to taste (be generous with the pepper)
- 3 to 4 cups homemade stock (I used stock made the previous day from chicken and vegetables)
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds. Place the peppers in a dutch oven, or other appropriately-sized pan, and set the tops aside for later.
- Chop the vegetables and garlic, either by hand or in the food processor. (I used the food processor for a fine, even chop.)
- Add the vegetables, tomatoes, cumin (or another spice you prefer), meat, salt and pepper to a large bowl. If you want your parsley cooked in with the meat, add it now. Otherwise, save it to sprinkle, fresh, on top of the peppers when serving.
- Mix everything together with your hands. Make sure you get it evenly, and thoroughly, mixed.
- Stuff the meat mixture generously into the peppers, and place their tops back on. If you have some meat mixture left over, save it and cook it up as breakfast hash in the morning.
- Pour the broth around the peppers in the bottom of the pan.
- Cover the pan, and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Once it's boiled, turn the heat down to medium-low so the broth is simmering.
- Simmer, covered, for one hour.
- Serve the peppers in bowls with a generous amount of broth around them, so they can be chopped with a spoon and eaten in the manner of soup. You may top with homemade yogurt, parmesan cheese (preservative-free), and/or chopped parsley. Enjoy!