Monday, February 14, 2011

Renal-friendly Stuffed Green and Red Peppers

Last night I went to a NephCure Team New England meeting to talk with other parents of children with FSGS Syndrome and Nephrotic Syndrome and to listen to a terrific guest speaker.  We were asked to bring a renal-friendly dish for the "Love Your Kidneys" potluck dinner.

The recipe is from the Davita website, an online source for kidney disease and dialysis treatment, which they adapted from the cookbook, Cooking for David.  

It's not suprising that peppers are a healthy food for kidney disease.  A half cup serving has only 1 mg of sodium, 88 mgs of potassium and 10 mgs of phosphorus, which is important for those approaching end-stage renal failure or on dialysis.  Peppers are also an excellent source of vitamins C, A, B6, folic acid and fiber.  And red peppers contain lycopene which is an excellent antioxidant.

Here is a link to a great article about the connection between superfoods and chronic diseases and inflammation and lists 15 top healthy foods for people with kidney disease,

Onions have terrific health benefits too.  I like to cook with red onions if I don't want too much onion flavor, which weakens when cooked. Freshly grated cheese of your choice is always nice.

Stuffed Green Peppers

  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp unsalted margarine/butter or olive oil (use will be divided)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp thick and chunky mild salsa
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash® onion herb seasoning
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soft white bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  1. Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and parboil for 4 minutes. Cook rice according to instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan start cooking ground beef. When done, remove from pan, drain in strainer to remove drippings and set aside. 
  3. Sauté onion in 1 teaspoon margarine, butter, or olive oil until translucent and soft. Add salsa, Mrs. Dash® herb seasoning, cooked rice and meat, combine by stirring.
  4. Stuff green pepper halves with meat and rice mixture, and place on a baking pan or shallow baking dish. 
  5. Combine bread crumbs, poultry seasoning and remaining margarine/butter, melted. Sprinkle over the tops of the stuffed peppers. Add 1/2 cup water to pan or dish to keep peppers moist.
  6. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 5 minutes more until browned.

    A few changes I made:  after tasting, I thought it needed a little more salsa, so I adjusted to my taste. I used organic long grain brown rice and organic whole wheat bread crumbs, which I made, I added an egg to help hold it all together and sprinkled on a little grated cheese at the end.  Since I doubled the recipe, I used 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb ground dark ground turkey meat because it has more nutrients. I was a little surprised that salsa was an ingredient but it did add good flavor and made it easy. I used a low-sodium organic brand.

    Recipe is from  Please go to for a printable version of this recipe and for kidney related nutritional facts. And, of course, consult your renal dietitian or physician.


  1. I'm so glad I like red peppers! Smashing. ;)

  2. What a great recipe - easy and delicious!

  3. Again, I apologize for the spacing - I can't figure it out! And, thanks for looking at the recipe!

  4. I think you did a wonderful job on the stuffed peppers recipe. Love the idea of adding more salsa, and the addition of the dark turkey meat.
    Really, a super yummy recipe, that I would like to try, spicing it up, of course.
    Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's!

  5. MMmmmm....these look SO good! My dad loves stuffed peppers, so it brings back memories of eating dinner with my family when I was young. I really should see if my family likes them...I'd certainly enjoy your yummy recipe!

  6. These were amazingly wonderful. Just right! The whole family loved them...even those who don't normally like stuffed peppers. :-)

  7. Thanks again everyone! I was surprised to see a recipe with salsa. I wasn't sure about it but curious. I really liked the flavor!

    It was an easy recipe. I made way too much and am glad to report that they Froze well!!!

  8. hi, my 9yo daughter has suffered with FSGS for 7 yrs and have been to NIH and JHH on all meds until we finally removed her kidneys last friday. We too are heavily involved with nephcure! I am friends with KB of Scituate MA -- you might know her? anyway, we r currently in HD and I was looking up stuffed peppers (her fav) recipe for renal diets and I was so happy to see another nephcure moms recipe came up! She likes salsa, and although HD diet is very restrictive, I think I can tweak it to her taste. Bravo for bringing awareness to this terrible disease!.. PD, Baltimore, MD

  9. Hi! I commented about your daughter and your experience on my "For My Family" page but am here also to say yes, if it's who I'm thinking of, I know her if she's the woman who is also on the board of NephCure now. We've met several times and participated in her NephCure walk last October. She is doing an amazing job of raising awareness of FSGS, Nephrotic Syndrome, and NephCure. She also follows my blog. I hope you enjoy the recipe, you can easily print it from the link I provided. That website has different recipes for renal-friendly stuff peppers that you might like.