Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

I grew up with a Grandma who made stuffed peppers, and I also grew up not liking stuffed peppers. Don't know what it was, but I've always had an irrational dislike of them. I tried making them once, but they weren't a hit. I decided to give them another try after I saw this recipe posted on one of my favorite food blogs: This Week for Dinner. It's worth trying when readers reply with comments like: "Everyone raved about them and I kept hearing 'just one more.'"

Rochelle and I made them for dinner on Sunday night. We were commenting on the healthy dinner we were preparing, and she said, "It's vegetables stuffed with vegetables. It's got to be healthy?!" When I tried making the peppers before, I used rice, but they were so bland! This time, I used corn and mushrooms, instead. And, I seasoned the ground beef well with garlic, basil, chili powder, and cumin (insert your favorite seasonings here). They were fantastic!! The corn and mushrooms made the dish a bit heartier and a smoky flavor. The red peppers were sweet, but still a little crispy. This is another great dish for "clean out the crisper drawer." I'm thinking to add some zucchini and carrots and celery next time for a little more veggie-ness.

Scott actually said, "Please make this again!" I'm even thinking this might be a good candidate for a freeze-ahead meal....

Stuffed Peppers
From This Week for Dinner

- 6-7 bell peppers of various colors, 1 3/4 to 2 is the sweetest, in my opinion
- 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound ground beef (optional)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cobs corn, kernels cut off corn
- 8oz mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 8-oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds and ribs. If your peppers don’t want to stand up nicely, cut off part of the bottom as well to level the base of the pepper. Try not to cut through to the inside, but if you do it’s not the end of the world. Brush outside of peppers with olive oil.

In a medium frying pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, corn, and cook 2-4 minutes, or until softened. Crumble ground beef into pan and cook, stirring to break up lumps, until it begins to lose its pinkness, 5-7 minutes. Drain the fat (use a slotted spoon or pat with papertowels).

Slightly beat egg in a large-ish mixing bowl. Add parsley, cheese, salt, pepper and beef/veggie mixture. Mix well.

Stuff the bell peppers with filling, mounding top slightly. Place peppers in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Mix tomatoes with water and pour into dish around peppers. Bake 45 minutes.

Kitchen Tip: Another reader commented that using a Bundt pan helps the little guy stand up while cooking. I used a high-walled casserole dish, and they stood up just fine.
Serve with tomatoes as a sauce and sprinkle with parmesan.

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