Taco Stuffed Peppers – Keto Style!

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What is your favorite kind of food? If I had to pick just one, I would be hard pressed to choose between Mexican (or Tex-Mex) inspired foods and Cajun inspired foods. I think it is safe to say that I like savory and spicy foods – a lot! Tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas would have to be my top three Mexican inspired foods. I am always looking for ways to Keto-ize (Keto-fy?) my favorite foods.

I like taco salads with taco seasoned chicken or ground beef, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa (red or guacamole) and avocado slices. I sometimes make fajita taco salads using seasoned sliced chicken or steak and sautéed onions and bell peppers. I made my own taco seasoning for many years – long before I started my Keto lifestyle. While researching Keto, I discovered that store-bought seasoning mixes have many “bad” ingredients.  Most seasoning mixes have sugar, (the much dreaded) maltodextrin and corn starch, just to name a few. Homemade taco seasoning is a breeze to make using common ingredients. You can check out my recipe below.


Homemade Taco Seasoning – Delta Mama Cooks Keto Style

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional to make it spicy – adjust to your heat level)

Mix together and store in air tight container.


 

Now to get back to the original post….Taco Stuffed Peppers – Keto Style. In my search of Mexican style Keto foods, I saw many stuffed pepper recipes.  I read recipe after recipe and finally decided to open up my search to non-Keto recipes hoping to find one that I could adapt to Keto. I knew that I had found my inspiration in Reeni’s Taco Stuffed Peppers from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

I was searching for a simple recipe that included cauliflower rice.  While Reeni’s recipe included Minute Rice or cooked rice, I knew that I could substitute cauliflower rice so easily. I’ve prepared cauliflower rice from fresh cauliflower before but quite honestly, I much prefer to use frozen riced cauliflower. Not only is it easier, but I like the flavor and consistency of it better than fresh riced cauliflower. When using frozen riced cauliflower in a recipe, I always steam in the bag according to the directions before adding to my recipe. I replaced the Minute Rice with one bag of riced cauliflower, cooked in the microwave according to directions on the bag.

Another change that I made to Reeni’s recipe is using red and yellow bell peppers.  I prefer red and yellow bell peppers over green bell peppers in almost everything except spaghetti sauce. You can use the bell pepper of your choice – red, yellow, orange or green – or any combination of colors.

You can also mix up the cheese combinations. I’ve used pepper jack, sharp cheddar and colby-jack cheeses – all freshly grated (of course!).  I use my Presto Salad Shooter for that – read more about it here.

One thing that I learned the hard way when I last made Taco Stuffed Peppers – DON’T RUSH when pre-cooking the peppers prior to stuffing.  I was so hungry that I didn’t pre-cook the peppers long enough.  (My oven runs a little cool, so I usually have to raise the oven temperature or add cooking time to get the desired results.) After I stuffed and cooked the peppers, I discovered that the thicker part at the bottom of the pepper was not tender enough. It was good and I ate it anyway, but learn from my mistake!

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You can cook these in a casserole dish like I did the first time and then I had the idea of cooking them in ramekins so it would be easier to keep the stuffed peppers upright.  I placed the peppers in the ramekins before stuffing, then placed the ramekins on a baking pan for ease of getting in and out of oven. This was so much easier!

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After baking the stuffed peppers, serve topped with sour cream and other toppings, as desired.

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Reeni’s post says these freeze well.  I *thought* I was going to have 2 peppers to freeze and emailed Reeni for freezing instructions. Reeni said that you can freeze them before or after baking.  Personally, I would flash freeze them then wrap in Saran Wrap, then double wrap in foil and place in a Ziploc freezer bag. Reeni said to remove from freezer and thaw in refrigerator overnight.  At this point, if stuffed peppers were frozen before baking, you would then bake as the recipe states.  If the stuffed peppers were frozen after baking, you can microwave or bake for a shorter time. You will notice that I said I *thought* I was going to have some leftovers to freeze – but that didn’t happen!  I plan to double the recipe the next time I make these and freeze some for later.  I like having things in my freezer that I can pull out when I don’t have time or feel much like cooking.

I hope you like these Taco Stuffed Peppers – Keto Style!