Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meatless Wednesday - Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Yeah, I know... it's supposed to be Meatless *Monday* and *Wordless* Wednesday, but sometimes I get confused!

I wanted to share this quick, easy and gluten-free dinner idea that we threw together for dinner tonight. I had a farmer's market planning meeting at 6:00 (by the way, head on over to the Beaverdale Farm Fest Facebook page and "like" it - we're getting a farmers market in B-dale next spring!), so dinner prep had to be creative. I came home after work and threw some wild rice into the rice cooker. We always forget the right rice-to-water ratio, but my goal is to write it down when it works! This time we did 1 cup long-grain wild rice to 2.5 cups water. It worked very nicely, and was done in about 35 minutes while I was at my meeting. When I got home, we picked a few peppers off the patio pepper plant (a great find at the Downtown Farmers Market last weekend!)

These peppers are fairly small, but none of my bell peppers produced this year. It has something to do with the animal that ate all of the branches off of my pepper plants... ugh. I combed through the fridge and cabinets, and came up with this "recipe" (I'll try to estimate as closely as possible since I don't really measure when cooking).

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

2 cups wild rice
1 pint diced tomatoes
1/2 can black beans
1/2 can refried beans (I used black refried beans with jalepenos)
1/2 - 1 cup corn (we had a leftover cob of Iowa sweet corn, so we cut it off the cob and threw it in)
1/2 cup salsa (homemade salsa verde - GardenMom and I made this for one of my first canning projects!)
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Onion powder (I would have used real onions and garlic if I'd had more time - saute first)

Add the non-spice ingredients to a medium pan and heat until bubbly. Add spices to taste and continue cooking until the mixture thickens and the liquid is absorbed. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

While the filling is cooking, wash and cut the tops off the peppers. You can either cut them them length-wise or leave them whole. We left ours whole, but if you want to sprinkle cheese on top, it's worth cutting in half to have more surface area.

When the filling is ready, stuff the peppers with filling. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Put the peppers in a baking dish or pan, and cook in the oven for at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes (Depending on the size of the peppers.) I like my peppers "al dente" - I think the flavor is best when they're softened but no over-cooked.

Since our peppers were small, we added warm corn tortillas to eat with a bit more of the filling. However, even without the tortillas, you get a complete meal - wild rice for a healthy carb, black beans for protein and peppers (and corn and tomatoes if you count them) for a veggie. They were delish!

What's your favorite stuffed pepper recipe?

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