This has become one of my signature dishes. I saw a recipe in a vegetarian cooking book and, because I never follow a recipe to a “T”, over time I developed my very own version. My sister, who is not vegetarian, called me from Indiana to ask me for the recipe once. That’s the impression it made on her.
This recipe works with any color of bell peppers – green, red, yellow or orange. They all taste great. Buy the ones cheaper at the supermarket that day. I cut the pepper in half, so each pepper yields 2 servings. But I guess your servings will depend on the amount of hunger and how voracious are your guests.
This recipe makes great use of leftover rice. It’s hard for me to give you exact measurements for ingredients, because I always make this recipe out of leftovers… and the last few times, I have done it for 30 people – so the recent amounts are not applicable for a home dinner. So bear with me on this one… I’ll try to give you my best estimates.
STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
3 bell peppers, washed well, cut in half lengthwise from top to bottom 1 onion, diced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 small carrots, shredded 2 tomatoes, diced or 8 oz. chopped tomatoes in glass jar (Viter or Pomi brands work well) 1 cup of cooked whole grain rice 1/3 cup slivered almonds 4 oz cream cheese 2 oz goat cheese 2 tablespoons scallions or green onions 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley 3/4 cup shredded cheese – cheddar or Italian cheese blend Salt and Pepper to taste
- Wash peppers and cut them from top to bottom, so each pepper half has a bit of pepper stem, which looks nice as presentation. Clean out all the seeds and white ribs inside with a pairing knife.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a saute pan over medium heat, heat a small amount of oil and saute onions for a few minutes, add garlic, add carrots. Saute until softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add tomatoes. If adding fresh, saute until the tomatoes exude most of their liquid. This will provide moisture to the mixture.
- Add rice to mixture. Remove from heat.
- Add almonds and cream and goat cheeses. Add scallions and parsley.
- Fill the pepper halves with the rice mixture. Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes, until peppers are cooked and cheese on top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and rest for 10-15 minutes.
If you rather prepare this recipe without cheese, it tastes great just the same. You could also use rice cream cheese and rice or soy shredded cheese for the topping. This way you will not feel as if you’re depriving yourself of anything.
You can definitely include in the rice mixture any vegetable of your choice. Just like this is a recipe for leftover rice, it’s also great for leftover vegetables and cheese. I once made this with a leftover cheese dip from a party.
This is just the starting point. Let me know what other version you can come up with. OK?