I have been waiting patiently all season for our bell peppers to transform into a rainbow like assortment, and the time has come. Southwest Stuffed Peppers is a recipe I have been preparing for years, and each time I explore using different ingredients to create new varieties. Each layer of this dish is seasoned well, making each bite burst with flavor.
This recipe is my all time favorite, and the leftovers make delightful lunches the next day. You may choose to make a big batch and freeze some to enjoy at a later date (bake and let the peppers cool before placing in the freezer). Most of the ingredients used were grown in the Midwest Vegetarian garden; however, the corn and cheese were picked up at our local farmer’s market. This recipe is packed with vegetables, whole grains and protein making it the September balanced meal of the month. To make this dish vegan, replace the dairy cheese with soy cheese.
Southwest Stuffed Peppers:
- *1 zucchini, unpeeled & shredded
- *4 bell peppers (any color)
- 14.5 oz canned fire roasted tomatoes with chiles
- *2 TBSP fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- *1 banana pepper, diced
- 1 cup fire roasted corn, frozen or fresh
- 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 6 tsp ground cumin
- 5 tsp chili powder
- 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (or shredded soy cheese)
- *2 scallions (green onions), chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- the juice of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 375 °
Cut the bell peppers in half length wise, removing all seeds.
Remove 1 c. of fire roasted corn from the freezer. Or shuck two ears of corn and grill the cobs directly over open flames until black char marks are present. Using a knife, remove the corn from the cob.
Drain and rinse black beans. Place beans in a bowl and mix with 1 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of chili powder. Mix in the following ingredients: fire roasted corn, chopped scallion, 4 oz. of cheddar cheese, fire roasted diced tomoatoes, banana pepper, chopped cilantro, 2 tsp cumin and 2 tsp chili powder. Add the shredded zuchinni, cooked rice, lime juice, the remaining 3 tsp ground cumin and 2 tsp chili powder, mix well.
Prepare a 9×12 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the rice mixture into the pepper halves. Place the remaining rice mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to create a base layer. Place the peppers on top of the rice mixture, and top the peppers with the remaining 4oz cheddar cheese.
Cover dish with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.
Yield: 8 servings
*items from Midwest Vegetarian garden