One of my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions was to try and make all Mondays “Meat Free Mondays“. (<– Click for a link to more information!) While, in general, I have kind of failed at this mission (there are a few reasons, but mostly its because throwing together a quick ham and cheese sandwich is the easiest option for a busy Monday), I have come to realize that meat is not at all a necessity in main dishes. There are plenty of satisfying, even protein-packed meals out there that do not include a bit of meat or seafood.
This dish is one of them. While I’ve made a few variations of stuffed peppers over the years, this one is by far my favorite!
Veggie and Rice Stuffed Peppers (E, N, D?, GF)
makes 4 full peppers
– 4 sweet/bell peppers (any color!)
– Cooking spray
– 1/4 cup onion, chopped
– 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
– 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
– Salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, or Italian herbs, to taste (optional)
– 2/3 cup vegetable broth
– 1 medium-sized fresh tomato, diced
– 1/2 cup fresh green beans, chopped
– 2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese (optional)
– 2/3 cup or 1 cup cooked brown rice
– a few handfuls of baby spinach
– Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400*F. To prepare the peppers: first, test to see if they will “stand” on their own. If not, you might need to slice a tiny bit off the bottom for them to stand without tipping. Then, slice about 1/4 inch off the top. Using a parring knife, remove the ribs and seeds.
- Use cooking spray to coat the bottom of a medium skillet or pan. Toss in onions, chopped bell peppers, and carrots.
- Cook the veggies for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they’re almost tender. Sprinkle in any seasonings you might want. Add about 2/3 cup vegetable broth. Allow to simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Add the green beans and tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- While there is still broth in the pan, add the cream cheese, if you’re using it. If you need to add more broth to thin out the mixture, do so now.
- Finally, toss in the brown rice and spinach, and simmer until the spinach is wilted, and there is just a tiny bit of liquid left.
- Spoon the mixture into each of the peppers. Sprinkle the tops of each pepper with Parmesan, if using. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pepper is softened, and the Parmesan is browned.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
– I’d recommend using red, orange, or yellow bell peppers. The green ones can be a bit bitter. (That’s in my opinion – my brother only likes the green ones!)
– To make this recipe dairy-free, simply omit the cheeses. It tastes just fine without them!
– Just as a sidenote, you might need to adjust the amount of ingredients depending on the size of the peppers you pick. However, the leftover filling is very good on its own!
Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday! 🙂