Slow-Cooker Stuffed Taco Peppers
Mexican cuisine is known for its creative blend of herbs and spices to create foods enjoyed around the world,1 and one well-loved example is the taco. The history of this dish is quite interesting — no one really knows where it came from. One theory is the name came from 18th century Mexican miners who wrapped dynamite in paper when gathering ore, which looks like the taco we all know today. Whatever the case, tacos began spreading in the United States due to the influx of Mexican migrants in the 20th century.2
This recipe from Ruled.Me3 is a modern interpretation of this timeless Mexican dish. It uses red bell peppers as the shell because aside from being healthier than corn tortillas, it holds the ingredients well while retaining the crunchiness tacos are known for.
Slow-Cooker Stuffed Taco Peppers
Cut off the stems from the peppers.
Scoop out the seeds on the inside, leaving a hollow shell.
In a bowl, mix the ground turkey and spices.
Stir in the cauliflower and coconut oil in the bowl.
Mix in the Monterey jack cheese in the bowl.
Scoop up some of the turkey mixture and pack it into each pepper shell.
Place each stuffed pepper into a Crock-Pot and pour a cup of water into the bottom.
Cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. Top with a little extra cheese 10 minutes before they are done.
Using Bell Peppers as Taco Shells Is a Brilliant Cooking Hack
Taco shells are made from corn, a food I don’t recommend eating because the majority of it is genetically engineered (GE)4 and damaging to the environment. The best thing to do is replace the shell with a healthy vegetable that can hold all the ingredients while having a mild, sweet taste to allow you to enjoy the flavors of the other ingredients. In this regard, the bell pepper is your answer.
Red bell peppers are known for their sweet flavor, which complements the meat and the other ingredients of this recipe.5 Red bell peppers are good for your health, as they can provide you with:
- Antioxidants — A study published in Journal of Food Science notes that red peppers have the highest levels of antioxidants compared to yellow, orange and green bell peppers.6
- Beta-carotene — This nutrient is a precursor to vitamin A, which is needed to help support biological functions such as healthy skin, immune system and eyesight.7 Bell peppers are rich in beta-carotene.8
- Lycopene — Red bell peppers are an alternative source of lycopene aside from tomatoes.9 Studies show that lycopene may help lower the risk of prostate cancer,10 cardiovascular disease11 and gingivitis.12
Cauliflower Adds Fiber and Antioxidants
Mixing cauliflower into the recipe can add generous amounts of fiber to the dish. Consuming adequate dietary fiber can benefit you several ways, such as:
- Helping with weight management — A study shows that increasing fiber consumption may help reduce the risk of gaining weight and body fat.13
- Controlling satiety — Dietary fiber, once fermented in the large intestine, produces peptides that help you feel full longer. This leads to reduced caloric intake.14
- Helping lower your risk of diabetes — Increasing your intake of dietary fiber may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because it lowers fasting blood glucose.15
In addition to dietary fiber, cauliflower is rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant unique to cruciferous vegetables. Studies show that sulforaphane may help:
- Improve blood pressure16
- Manage inflammation17
- Activate detoxification systems18
- Boost prenatal brain health19
Coconut Oil and Cheese Make These Tacos Ketogenic
The ketogenic diet is one of the biggest trends in nutrition today, and rightfully so. It’s a healthy way of creating energy for your body to burn by using fat instead of sugar. When you follow the ketogenic diet, your body produces ketones made by your liver.20 To help your body start producing this healthy source of energy, healthy fats should be added to your diet — and accessible sources of healthy fats include cheese21 and coconut oil.22
Originating from Monterey, California, Monterey Jack cheese is commonly used in American and Mexican cooking because of its flavor and versatility.23Make sure that the cheese you’re using comes from grass fed cow’s milk to get more nutrients. Coconut oil, on the other hand, contains saturated medium-chain fats24 that may help manage inflammation,25 improve mitochondrial function26 and eliminate bacteria and yeast strains.27,28
Have a Go With This Great-Tasting Taco
Tacos make for a great lunch or dinner for your friends and family, but they’re even better when they’re made from healthy ingredients. I urge you to replace the traditional tortilla shell with a healthy alternative, such as organic red bell peppers. You won’t regret this decision and you’ll want to start making tacos this way from now on.
About the Blog:
Ruled.Me was created by Craig Clarke, a blogger who originally struggled with weight problems. The website not only focuses on the ketogenic diet as a way to lose weight, but as a lifestyle that can improve your quality of life. It contains dieting tips, strength and endurance exercises and various recipes for people who are struggling with their weight and nutritional deficiencies.
Sources and References:
- 1 SBS Food, May 22, 2015
- 2 Smithsonian.com, May 3, 2012
- 3 Ruled.Me, “Slow-Cooker Stuffed Taco Peppers”
- 4 USDA, “Recent Trends in GE Adoption”
- 5 The Spruce Eats, “9 Types of Delicious Sweet Peppers”
- 6 Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2016 July 3;56(9):1488-500
- 7 Medical News Today, “All You Need to Know About Beta-Carotene”
- 8 Antioxidants, 2015 June;4(2):427-446
- 9 African Journal of Biomedical Research, 2012 Sep;15:187-191
- 10 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2002 Mar 6;94(5):391-8
- 11 The Journal of Nutrition, 2003 July;133(7):2336-41
- 12 Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry, 2007;5(4):327-36
- 13 The Journal of Nutrition, 2009 Mar;139(3):576-81
- 14 Nutrients, 2010 Dec;2(12):1266-1289
- 15 Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 2012 Jan-Feb;25(1):16-23
- 16 American Journal of Hypertension, 2012 Feb;25(2):229-35
- 17 Frontiers in Immunology, 2018;9:36
- 18 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016; 2016;7857186
- 19 Journal of Neurophysiology, 2004 Apr;91(4):1545-55
- 20 WebMD, “What Are Ketones?”
- 21 Harvard Health Publishing, July 27, 2017
- 22 The British Journal of Nutrition, 2015 July 14;114(1):1-14
- 23 Greedy Gourmet, October 14, 2018
- 24 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017;2017:7251562
- 25 Translational Research, 2010 Mar;155(3):131-41
- 26 Journal of Lipid Research, 2013 Dec;54(12):3322-33
- 27 Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy,1972 July;2(1):23-28
- 28 Journal of Medicinal Food, 2007 June;10(2):384-7