I received (the last of) garden grown bell peppers recently. They were such a treat I had to do something special with them. So I went out on a limb and made stuffed peppers without a recipe for the first time. I thought… how hard could it be? It really wasn’t. I just thought of my favourite simple flavours and did a little prep ahead of time and it all worked out nicely.
Here’s how it went down…
Easy Stuffed Peppers
The Day Before:
I prepared short grain brown rice in my rice cooker. I made 1/2 cup of rice for each pepper.
A rice cooker is a really useful kitchen appliance. It takes about 1/2 hour to make rice in it. Just add rice and water, switch it on, and it cooks rice to perfection. It automatically shuts off when the rice is cooked. It will keep the rice warm on the countertop for a long time. I often set it up in the morning or afternoon and cook rice in advance to use for dinner. Then I have whole grain rice that’s ready to be added to any recipe (side dish, soup, main, etc).
Once my rice was cooked, I stored it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.
The Day Of:
This literally took me 10 minutes!
Started out by sautéing 1/2 onion and my favorite fresh frozen veggies over medium heat.
I used Stahlbush Island Farms classic mixed vegetables. This company grows their vegetables in a sustainable way and as naturally as possible.
I wanted to add some veggies that would add some crunch and sweetness… so peas and corn came to mind.
As the veggies sautéed, I prepared the red peppers.
– Cut around the top stem to make a “lid” for the pepper
– Removed the lid and shook out the loose seeds
– Cut the seed bunch off the stalk
To the sautéed veggies, added the cooked rice…
….and fresh homemade tomato sauce.
Season with sea salt, pepper and/or herbs as desired. (Note: Tomato sauce can be made in advance too, or in a pinch, look for fresh made tomato sauce at your grocery store.)
Placed peppers in a parchment paper lined baking pan.
Scooped the rice and veggie mixture into the peppers. Topped them off with the lid.
Set aside until ready to bake.
Before dinner, I baked these at 350 F for 1 hour (until the peppers were tender).
The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s dairy free, gluten free, meatless and versatile. Here are some other options:
– Grain alternative to rice: millet, quinoa, whole buckwheat (kasha), lentils, black beans, kidney beans or a mixture of grains and beans.
– Veggie options: broccoli or cauliflower florets, chopped green beans, diced tomatos, diced eggplant or zucchini, diced butternut squash or sweet potato, spinach, basil, etc, etc… really any combination of veggies can be used.
– Chopped nuts and seeds can also be added to the grain mixture. Chopped pecans or walnuts, whole sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds work well.
– The tomato sauce can be omitted and the grain and veggie mixture can be flavoured with any combination of herbs and spices.