There was a sale recently on red bell peppers at our local Sprouts grocery store, and we went a bit overboard and bought more peppers than we knew what to do with. So for dinner, I decided to make southwest-style vegetarian stuffed peppers. While looking up recipes for such a thing, all of the stuffed pepper recipes I came across used hamburger meat, so I was sort of on my own. I ended up modifying my black bean enchiladas recipe and the result was great! My fiance, who has been less than impressed with my stuffed pepper concoctions in the past, went back for seconds.
4 large red bell peppers
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups vegetable broth (for cooking the rice)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 medium sized white onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
pepper to taste
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup corn
1 cup cooked black beans (We usually use dried beans at home – if you use canned beans, you could probably use one can)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Either cook your rice ahead of time or start it as your first step. I use 1 cup of uncooked brown rice and 2 cups vegetable broth. Combine the two ingredients in a pan on high heat and allow it to come to a boil. When it boils, reduce the heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 45-50 minutes. I do not add any salt or butter to my rice.
While the rice is simmering, fill a large pot with enough water to allow your peppers to be submerged. Put the pot on high heat and allow the water to boil. Cut your peppers lengthwise, clean out the seeds and cut away the whitish inner ridges on the inside of the peppers. Place the pepper halves in the boiling water for about 10 minutes or until the peppers have become soft. You can test this by poking them with a fork. Set peppers aside on a greased cookie sheet.
This would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
To Make The Pepper Filling:
In a large pan, heat your cooking oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Sautee onions for about 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to look translucent. Next, add the cauliflower. Cook until cauliflower begins to soften.
Add all of your spices (cumin, coriander, taco seasoning, cayenne and pepper) and stir to coat the onion and cauliflower. Add garlic. Allow the mixture to sautee for about another 4 minutes and then turn the heat to low-medium. Allow the pan to cool a bit and then add the tomato, salsa, corn and beans.
Because I start my rice at the beginning of the recipe, I simply let the filling simmer on the stove, stirring occasionally, until my rice is done cooking. At that time, I add the rice to the rest of the filling mixture in the pan. I then add 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese and thoroughly mix it in.
Assembling The Peppers:
While the mixture is still hot, spoon it into the hollow pepper halves. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of the filling. Bake the peppers at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
We enjoyed our peppers with a little dollop of salsa on top of each pepper half. This made for a hearty, flavorful dinner. Try this recipe and let us know how it turned out by leaving a comment below!