zucchini and bell pepper stuffed with meat and rice

I have a confession to make: I'm not a foodie.

At least I don't classify myself as one. I imagine a foodie to be someone who eagerly samples new, foreign foods, who experiments with the wildest ingredients, and who will taste just about anything. Someone liker


, perhaps. Melinda, you are a trooper.

I am so far from that. I grew up being a picky eater, and until today I have a list of things I will not eat because I simply don't like them. This list is long enough for me to comfortably say I'm a

faux foodie

. Though this list has gotten shorter over the years.

However, in my defense, I do love food. I love trying new recipes, new flavors, and new textures. They just need to fit within my food preferences. Yes, I make a terrible dinner guest, but don't worry I'll try any dessert, to leave things on a sweet note.

Growing up, my mother made these stuffed zucchinis and bell peppers often. But I, of course, did not eat things that were "stuffed". I might have been coerced to try it once or twice but that was the end of our acquaintance.

Since I started cooking myself, my taste has changed and I like things that I previously would never have eaten. Like these stuffed things.

I probably reacquainted myself with this dish when my mother-in-law (or sister-in-law) made it for a holiday a few years ago. I had tasted it, you know, to be polite. And I surprised myself by taking seconds. I liked the sweet taste of the bell pepper against the pillowy spiced rice and meat mixture. It was such a perfect blend of flavors and an easy one-pot meal.

Of course, I put in my request when my mother was here a few months ago and I am excited to share her recipe with you. I hope you'll try it!

On a different note, I've been quite silent around here the past few months. Life is full and hectic and little ones keep me away from creating and photographing recipes. I love it here and I'll try to be back as much as I can. I hope to come back with some amazing summer recipes. Hope you'll stick around.

Happy summer!

zucchini and bell pepper stuffed with meat and rice


1lb ground chicken

1.5 cups raw basmati rice

2 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons fresh parsely, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 onion grated

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 large bell peppers or 8 small ones, cored

4 zucchinis, cored


3 cups boiled water

1 14oz. can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, sliced

3 tablespoons oil

salt and pepper, to taste


Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing and fill the bell peppers and zucchinis. In a wide pan, heat the oil on medium heat and sautee the garlic until translucent. Add the tomato sauce, paste, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir frequently and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Place the bell peppers and zucchinis in the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes, basting frequently, about every 5-7 minutes.