Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes – Giveaway #OneYrGreek

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

My household is as far from being vegetarian as coyotes love carrots. We try. Even my finicky shark. He says he doesn’t like meat, but he inhales tacos like they were the best food on the planet. Well actually they are, but that’s not what we are talking about here.

We are talking about Greek and we are talking about Debbie Matenapoulos’ One Year Anniversary of her cookbook, It’s All Greek to Me!

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark


Debbie’s publisher, Ben Bella Books has rounded up previous cookbook reviewers to celebrate Debbie and her love of Greek food.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark


I was just as excited to do another review as I was the first time!

This time I decided to try Debbie’s Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes. My husband said these were “delicious and filling” and he is the biggest meat eater in the house.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

The recipe states you can substitute lean ground beef for the mushrooms and zucchini, but no need here! The vegetables were so delicious my son had me make the rice filling again this week.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

The one and only change I did with this recipe was substitute the brown rice for wild rice. And these peppers were wildly yummy.

For more tempting Greek recipes from Debbie, be sure to visit the other bloggers during this celebration!

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark


But for now, check out how I made these delicious stuffed peppers!

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Gather your ingredients.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Prepare your rice.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Scoop out your veggies for stuffing.

Sautee your filling veggies.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

And combine them with the rice.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Stuff the peppers and tomatoes.

Put a bit of water on the bottom, stick them in the oven and be ready for deliciousness in about an hour.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

I served my stuffed veggies with some fresh mozzarella and brined olives. Yummy!

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Check out the GIVEAWAY below the recipe! >>>>>>>>>>>>

Here is Debbie’s recipe, direct from her cookbook, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

Growing up, I loved coming home after Greek school and walking through the door to the smell of my mom’s gemista. I can still recognize that smell anywhere. It’s very nostalgic for me and always makes my mouth water! My vegan version of this classic dish uses brown rice instead of white rice and mushrooms and zucchini as a healthy, low-fat substitute for the traditional beef. Brown rice is more nutritious, tends to hold up better, and adds a subtle, nutty flavor.

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
4 large bell peppers of various colors (green, red, yellow, or orange)
2 large tomatoes
2 Tb tomato paste diluted in 1 cup water
3/4 pound sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
1/2 pound zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 Tb finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the brown rice and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the vegetable broth and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 10 minutes. Then remove lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a deep casserole dish large enough to hold all the peppers and tomatoes snugly so that they remain upright during baking.

Slice off and reserve the top stem ends of the bell peppers. Hollow out the peppers, removing the seeds and white pith with a small spoon or a grapefruit spoon and discarding. Slice off and reserve the top stem ends of the tomatoes. Gently squeeze the tomatoes to remove most of the seeds, then scoop the pulp into a small bowl, leaving a thin layer of tomato (about 1/4 inch) next to the skin. Stir the diluted tomato paste into the tomato pulp and set aside. Transfer the hollowed-out tomatoes and peppers to the prepared casserole dish. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the edges start to brown and they release their liquid, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini slices and sauté until wilted and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper. Stir in the reserved tomato mixture and the cooked onion and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, just to let the flavors come together. At this point, the mixture should be moist but not soupy. If it is too loose, simmer it a little longer to evaporate a bit more of the liquid, being careful not to overcook the rice. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and the mint. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Generously stuff the tomatoes and bell peppers with the rice mixture. Replace the pepper and tomato tops. The stuffing will peek out a bit. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and carefully pour the water into the bottom of the casserole. Bake, adding a little more water if necessary, for 1 to 11/4 hours or until the vegetables are tender and the tops are brown. The tomatoes and peppers should be soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Serve immediately.

Debbie’s Tip: The classic version of this dish is made with lean ground beef. My vegan version makes a savory, light supper with no saturated fat. If you do want to try it the traditional way, replace the mushrooms and zucchini with 1 pound of lean ground beef or turkey.

If you missed my last giveaway for this cookbook or would like another chance to win, the publisher is letting me give away another copy here!

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

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*This post was sponsored by Ben Bella Books. I received a complimentary cookbook from the sponsor in exchange for my unbiased review of the cookbook It’s All Greek to Me! No additional compensation was received by me. All opinions, text, images, and recipe are my own, except for cookbook images clearly noted. This post contains affiliate links.


Skinny Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup with Wild Rice


Mushrooms. Juicy, savory, a bit of bite and smooth subtle sweetness. Overloading creamy chicken soup filled with wild whole grain rice.

I can’t say what made me do it, I only know I couldn’t stop thinking about it. With all the fall flavors and cool weather, creamy mushroom soup fit the season just right.

But like any creamy soup that is typically loaded with heavy cream and butter, this soup won’t leave you feeling loaded yourself. At just over 400 calories, it is filled with some simple clean eating ingredients. And you can make this soup from start to finish in just about 60 minutes. Better yet, if you any leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, use the turkey carcass to make a stock and use the turkey meat for this soup.

It’s the basics baby!


You’ll need these basic fresh ingredients:

For the Stock:
1 stalk celery
1 large carrot
1/4 large onion
1 Tb canola oil
1 Tb chicken bouillon
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
1 bay leaf
6 cups water

Begin by making a stock. Roughly chop up one stalk of celery and one large carrot along with 1/4 of a large onion. Cut the chicken into large chunks so it cooks faster, and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the celery, carrot, and onion with the chicken bouillon in the canola oil until tender.


Then add two chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds, 6 cups hot water, and 1 bay leaf to the pot. Bring to boiling, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, tender and no longer pink.

It’s getting wild!

Meanwhile cook the Wild Rice. I mean really, doesn’t this rice look wild? Like it went on a rice Mud Run and came back in multiple colors of nature.


For the Wild Rice:
3/4 cup rinsed wild rice
2 cups hot water

Add wild rice to hot water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and steam, covered until tender, about 45 minutes.

Now to the soup, oh yea.

Strain the chicken stock over a colander placed over a large bowl. Save the chicken stock. Remove the chicken and shred or chop roughly. You can throw out the veggies or save them for your husband who adds veggies to everything. Discard the bay leaf.


Have your soup ingredients ready. Oh mushrooms, don’t you look good?!


For the Soup:
1 Tb butter
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
dash worchestershire
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups milk

Peel and finely mince the shallot and garlic. Remove stems from the baby bella mushrooms. Cut off the dirty stem end and slice the remaining stem pieces. Slice the baby bella caps as well.

In the same Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic and shallots. Sauté about 2-3 minutes, then add the baby bella mushrooms. Sauté about 2 minutes more.


Stir in the flour. For an entirely gluten free meal, use brown rice flour or tapioca flour.


Cook about 1 minute more, then carefully pour in the reserved chicken stock.


Stir in the chopped chicken. Bring back to boiling then carefully add the remaining ingredients. Simmer over medium heat

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