So, a week after gallbladder surgery, I'm finally back in the kitchen. Orders from my doctor were to keep things as low fat as possible, but I didn't want to get ridiculous about it. Total props to Ellie Krieger, my Food Network Queen of Healthy eating compromises. I took her recipe for Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/greek-style-stuffed-peppers-recipe/index.html) and adapted it to Italian with what I had on hand.
My only regret is that I didn't have larger peppers :)
My changes to her recipes:
I only had 2 red bell peppers, so I had leftover stuffing that I just plopped in the pan as meatballs (thanks to my ice cream scoop).
I included some crushed fennel seeds in the mix.
No feta cheese (which would contradict the doctor's orders) so I used a *very* light sprinkling of parmesan on top for flavor.
Didn't have bulghur, so I used the wheat germ I did have.
Didn't have a zucchini, so I skipped it and added some chopped (frozen) basil in with the spinach, in addition to a clove of crushed garlic.
Didn't have stewed tomatoes, used a large can of tomato juice and it was fine.
Next time, needs more garlic, definitely more pepper, and while the meatballs were good it was much better inside the red bell peppers. All in all, worth recycling.
(For those of you who don't know, when I say "recycle" a recipe, I mean tweak, repeat, reassess as needed.)