Meat Lovers Pizza Stuffed Peppers

I have a problem. 

I can't control myself when it comes to pizza. For some reason, I keep buying frozen pizzas when they're on sale at the store to stock up for a dinner emergency. Because sometimes, you just have that kind of a day. A day when nothing goes right. So as soon as you get home from work you immediately pour a giant glass of red wine and furiously tear the plastic wrap off the frozen pizza hidden in the freezer. (And yessss, of course I cook it first. Gross.)

Wait, why am I talking about frozen pizza?

Oh yeah. Because even when I have a great day, I stiiiiill want pizza. But I'm supposed to be talking about healthy food. Hence my problem.

So. These peppers. They definitely are healthy. deffffinately. There may be a touch of pepperoni (because what is pizza without pepperoni?) and a dollop of low fat ricotta (because it's awesome). OK, you got me... ricotta doesn't usually go on pizza. But I wanted it anyway.

Yup. Picture of health. Because I added spinach. and mushrooms. 

 (P.S. We are leaving for Italy in 129,564 seconds. The land of pizza. I am so screwed.) 

Printable Recipe HERE.

4 large bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup pepperoni, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz low fat ricotta
4 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cup the tops off the bell peppers and remove the membrane and seeds from inside the peppers. In a large pot or dutch oven, add 2 cups of the marinara sauce. Stand each of the peppers upright in the sauce. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

While the peppers are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the garlic, onion, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and saute for a few minutes, until softened. Add the chicken, paprika and chili powder and cook until the chicken is browned. Add 1 cup of marinara sauce, the chopped pepperoni, and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta and spinach together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill each of the peppers about 1/3 of the way full with the meat mixture. Top with a layer of the ricotta mixture and then fill to the brim with the meat mixture. Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 15 - 20 minutes until the peppers are completely softened.

Serve immediately with the marinara sauce.