Recently, I’ve gotten involved with a local produce co-op. My neighbor four doors down started it to combat the shortages we were seeing in stores. She sources a wide variety of local fruits and veggies, and we come pack them into our boxes and take them home.
I have been loving this because — stay with me here — I don’t pick the produce. Each box is different, and I never know what will be there when I show up on Friday.
I pride myself on eating a fair amount of fruit and veggies, but they’re always the same ones. Lettuce, tomato, spinach, apples, strawberries, pineapple, etc. This week, my box had an eggplant. I have no idea what to do with an eggplant. Last week, I got blackberries. I’d never had one before.
My Friday box is forcing me out of my comfort zone, and I’m learning to make foods I never would have chosen on my own. The blackberries went in a galette. The cauliflower got riced. The yellow squash got both sautéed and baked into muffins. About half the box became pico de gallo. The eggplant is still awaiting its fate.
And the bell peppers got stuffed. I know stuffed peppers are not exactly super creative thinking, but it was a big step for me. I hate bell peppers. I love spicy peppers, but the bland, crunchy yuckiness of bell pepper has never been my thing. I saw them in that box and figured that was one piece of produce we wouldn’t use.
But this stuffed pepper recipe changed my mind. It’s inspired by one I found at Wine and Glue, but I wanted to make it low-carb. The juices from the meat cook into the pepper and get rid of everything I hate about them — you know, the flavor and the crunch. Instead, this recipe tastes like a low-carb, veggie-laden taco. And that, I can get behind!