Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Over four years ago, I had a really good friend who was a study/running buddy of mine.  I started developing a crush on him.  Trying to be smooth, I told him that I was cooking stuffed bell peppers and there would be so much left over that it would probably get thrown in the trash (not true) and then proceeded to invite him over for dinner so that I “would not have to waste any food”.  He said yes and we had what may have been our first date.  He liked the bell peppers, I liked the bell peppers, we both liked each other, and three years later we said “I Do”.

These stuffed peppers might not make you fall in love, but they are easy to make, cheap, and delicious.  They also make fabulous leftovers so you won’t actually have to toss any in the trash (but you’re free to use that as an excuse to cook for your crush).

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers (for 2 stuffed peppers, or roughly 4 servings):

*Also requires the preparation of Mexican-style rice (my husband’s recipe is shown below) and black beans (we used dried beans, but you can use canned as well).

Husband’s Mexican Rice

Ingredients:
15 ounces dried brown rice
1 (10 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (we use Rotel original) – also add the juice from the can
Water for boiling
1 Tablespoon butter (we use Land O’ Lakes, unsalted)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
A few shakes of salt
A few shakes of red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients to your rice cooker or pot.  Cook as you normally prepare your rice.  If you are using a rice cooker, fill the water up just past the marker for 3 cups of rice (even though the recipe is for 2.5 cups).  The extra water is to make up for the volume displaced by the addition of the diced tomatoes.

Additional ingredients:
Roughly 2 cups cooked black beans
2 large bell peppers
About 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (we use Kraft Natural)

Directions:
1.  Prepare the rice and black beans.
2.  Drain excess liquid off of the black beans, add the rice, and mix in a large pot or bowl.

Rice and beans, courtesy of my husband!

3.  Core and remove seeds from the bell peppers, leaving a hole where the stem once was.  Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes to slightly soften the peppers.

Ready to stuff.

4.  Place bell peppers in a baking dish hole-side up (I use a loaf pan for just 2 peppers).  Scoop rice/bean mixture into the bell peppers and around peppers in the baking dish.

These are probably the largest bell peppers I have ever seen!

5.  Top with grated cheese and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.

OR

5.  Place covered baking dish in the refrigerator if you want to bake it later.
6.  Remove from refrigerator, top with grated cheese, and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.  You can cover the dish for part of the time to prevent the cheese from burning with the longer cooking time.

These make great leftovers.  We made a bunch of extra rice and beans to pack up for lunches.  There’s not much cheaper than a meal prepared primarily from dried beans and rice, but the addition of some spices really makes it delicious.

I know what I'm going to be eating all week...

Happy eating!

-c

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2 Comments

  1. karenlou said,

    April 19, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    oh, that is *genius* to hold the peppers upright with the rice!

  2. critchie103 said,

    April 20, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    Or you could cut them in half, lay them down, and fill them up like little pepper boats! But cooking as whole peppers is more fun!


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