One of the high school cafeteria dishes I always looked forward to was stuffed peppers. In the 50s, cafeteria workers in DC were often fine Southern cooks who made food from scratch. My mother also made a tasty version, that reminded me of a mini meatloaf stuffed into a green pepper shell.
But when I married, one of the very few foods my husband pushed to the side of his plate was green peppers. Knowing his aversion—which he passed on to our kids—I seldom cooked them just for myself. At our kitchen table, I became the lone appreciator of the stuffed pepper. Occasionally, I still treat myself to this meal-in-one, but not as often as I would like.
When I mentioned this to a friend recently, she asked if I’d tried the stuffed peppers at Costco. Since I had not, she brought me a six pack—of peppers, that is. They were large and colorful: two each of red, yellow and green and quite delicious. I may never need to stuff a pepper again. Admittedly, I added a bit of homemade tomato sauce, that I keep in the freezer, but they really didn’t need it. There are so many more ways to stuff peppers today. Some recipes include quinoa, spinach, black beans, goat cheese, or turkey in an attempt to create a healthier filling. I’m all for that. Making old dishes more nutritious and still tasty is well worth the effort.
Note: Writing about this reminded me to email my high school friend, Sheila, to see if she remembered the cafeteria stuffed peppers as fondly as I did. She didn’t.