Lately anytime I ask Allen what he wants for dinner, he says Stuffed Peppers. After the second or third time he asked, I wondered if it was something he grew up eating? But no, just something that sounded good, so I took a shot at making them for the first time last weekend. Surprisingly very easy and light, at least for the vegetarian.
I made the recipe almost exactly as shown below except I substituted mushrooms for more green bell pepper and diced tomatoes instead of water for baking. They turned out just as I hoped, fresh and surprisingly light. To be honest, it was almost not enough food for me. I’m a pretty big eater for a petite person, so I think next time I will make a more traditional vegetarian version with quinoa and beans.
6 green bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked long or medium-grain white rice
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon to break up the lumps, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and tomato sauce and stir well. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Pour diced tomatoes or sauce into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.