Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stuffed peppers

I cooked things for dinner a couple times in the past week that didn't come straight out of a bag or box. Be proud of me. I made these stuffed peppers last Sunday, and even had some leftovers to take to work. People were impressed because it looked healthy and home-made. I don't know how healthy it was, but appearances are what matter! I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and made a few minor changes. Here's how I made it.

Not too pretty, but tasty.

1 cup rice
4 green bell peppers
1 large onion, diced
some olive oil
2 links Italian turkey sausage
a couple shakes of oregano
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can black beans
shredded cheese of your choice

Cook rice according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 375. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you've sprayed with non-stick spray. (I used a big baking dish, but the recipe said a dish that's close in size to the peppers will work best.)

Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren't browned. Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it's lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner. (My end mixture came out a little greasy, so next time I might drain the sausage after this step)

Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add cooked rice, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.

Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it's tightly packed into the pepper shell. If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers. Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put whatever amount of cheese you want (I recommend a lot because it's the best part) on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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