Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mexican-Inspired Stuffed Peppers, Vegetarian Style

My mom used to serve these to us when we were kids. She liked to use Mexican-inspired flavors in her cooking, which always added a nice 'zing!' to whatever she made. In case you like this sort of thing too or just want to try something different, here's the recipe. Her version had ground beef but, to cater to the vegetarians out there, I'm replacing the meat with beans.

Mexican-esque Stuffed Peppers, Vegetarian Version-Makes 4 peppers
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, chili-style
4 large green bell peppers
2 cups rice, cooked
1 8-oz package Mexican cheese blend, shredded
½ onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cut off the top of each pepper and remove the seeds and membranes. Boil peppers for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened. In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the onion and fry in the oil for 5-10 minutes, until they're softened and clear.

Rinse the black beans. Then, combine beans, rice, tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Add the cumin, garlic salt, ½ teaspoon salt and chili powder. Now, add in cheese blend and spoon the mixture into each pepper. Arrange the peppers in a 9/9” baking dish and garnish with the rest of the cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.

For an additional flavor boost, add tomato sauce. I haven't tried this recipe using red or yellow bell peppers, but you're more than welcome to. Hmmm, I wonder what it would taste like with picante sauce? Try it and let me know!

Believe it or not, just because something is meatless doesn't mean it's 'taste-less'. Even my husband agrees, and that's saying something!

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