Stuffed peppers are definitely one of my favorite clean-the-fridge meals. I tend to make these recipes a little bit different each time because I work with all the little bits and pieces I have in my fridge. I use mostly left-over rice as a filling, but orzo pasta, quinoa or even couscous work deliciously here. I have even used left-over butternut squash risotto from a large party, added a few extra veggies and made stuffed bell peppers for a crowd after my sister’s baby shower once.
However, the other day I purposely made a conscious effort to think of what I would put in. I am in a blue-cheese kick lately ,so I wondered how would my beloved stuffed bell peppers would taste using gorgonzola as the main cheese. I know I already loved them filled with goat cheese… so this would be a nice twist if successful. And successful it was.
BLUE CHEESE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
1 large bell pepper – I prefer yellow, orange or red for this… but a green one will do also 1 cup cooked brown rice ½ medium onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, chopped finely 1 small carrot, chopped small 1 small tomato, chopped 3-4 white button mushrooms, chopped 3 large handfuls of baby spinach or any other hearty green lettuce 2 ounces cream cheese 1/2 cup gorgonzola crumbles ½ cup walnut pieces or almond slivers ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded for topping Olive Oil Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, garlic and carrots. Season with salt and pepper lightly and sauté for a few minutes for the onions and carrots to soften.
- While this cooks, cut the bell pepper in half and clean the insides of all ribs and seeds. Set aside.
- Add the mushroom pieces and cook for a few minutes. Add tomato pieces and cook for them to release their juices.
- Add the spinach and mix together so it wilts. Season with salt and pepper to help the spinach release its juices.
- Remove from heat. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Add the cream cheese and gorgonzola. If you feel the mixture is a bit stiff, add a drizzle of olive oil to soften it.
- Add the walnuts or other nut you might have handy.
- Fill generously each bell pepper half with rice/cheese mixture. Top with some shredded cheese to make a nice cheesy crust on top.
- Place the pepper halves in a baking dish and cook in a 425F oven for about 25-30 minutes. The filling is already cooked but this will cook and soften the pepper outside.
Serve alongside a crisp green salad and dinner is served!!!