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the haas machine: Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Friday, January 18, 2013

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Did you get in on the stuffed pepper craze that was going around this summer? I tried making stuffed peppers for the first time when looking for a way to use the gazillions of peppers that I grew in my garden & I was so pleased to find something that we could really enjoy. 
This recipe calls for using ground turkey, but you could most definitely make them vegetarian & omit the turkey. I'd just add some more seasonings & maybe some more beans to make up the difference (or try experimenting with sauteed mushrooms or zucchini). And contrary to popular belief, it isn't strange at all to eat an entire pepper (I was a little worried, especially with the green ones!) Because they are painted with oil & baked for awhile alone, they get all roasty & delicious. 
And you know what? They are downright delicious! They are hearty & filling & suuuuuper satisfying. We had a BBQ at our house the other night & I made up a bunch of these babies (I made them ahead of time & then we warmed them on the grill) as a side. We had a few left & my (anti-left-over) husband volunteered to take them for lunch the next day. Boom!
My favorite way to top these is with a heap of cilantro, but you can also top them with a slice or two of avocado, sour cream, or really anything else you have your little heart set on. And if you're still a little weirded out by eating a big chunk of a pepper, check out this recipe for crispy quinoa bake, which is pretty much the same thing, just more incorporated.

Southwest Stuffed Peppers
Olive oil
1/2 lb lean ground turkey (or 1 small chopped zucchini & 1/2 pack of chopped mushrooms, sauteed)
1 cup chopped onions
1 heaping tbsp of homemade taco seasoning
2 cups of cooked rice (we used a combo of white & brown)
4 bell peppers, halved & seeds removed
16 ounces of black beans
1 cup of frozen corn
1 (15 -16 ounce) jar of salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro, avocado slices, &/or sour cream to top

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the peppers with olive oil (I use a designated paint brush, hence my "painting" reference above) & roast in a baking dish about 20-25 minutes just until cooked through. Remove the peppers from the oven & allow to cool until you can handle them.

Cook your rice according to the package. Meanwhile, cook the turkey until it is just browned (if using zucchini & mushrooms instead or in addition, saute them in a little bit of olive oil). Add the onions & cook until they are translucent. In a bowl, add the taco seasoning, cooked ground turkey, onions, black beans, corn & rice. Add in the salsa & mix well.

Carefully spoon the mixture into each half of the bell peppers & place back into the baking dish. Cook the peppers for another 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are cooked all the way through. Before removing from the oven sprinkle the tops of each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese. Place back into the oven & broil until the cheese is melty, bubbly, crusty, & delicious!

Remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro, avocado slices &/or sour cream just before serving.

Recipe adapted from Simply Love Food

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