Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

A couple nights ago, one of my best friend's Sarah came over and cooked dinner for Vlad and I. It was a special treat :) She made some delicious stuffed peppers (with fresh peppers from her parent's garden!) They were so yummy. She stuffed them with a yellow saffron rice and ground beef, topped them with marinara and shredded cheese. This recipe was so good and so easy to make! Definitely keeping it in the back of my mind for future occasions. 

Since Vlad and I try to limit the amount of red meat we eat, I decided to adapt her recipe into a vegetarian one. I tried this one out last night, and it was a big hit! We used Portobellos instead of meat, but honestly, you couldn't tell the meat was missing! Here's what I came up with.

You will need:
6 Green Bell Peppers
10 oz. Mahatma Yellow Saffron Rice, or whatever rice you like/have available
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, diced
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
10 oz. Baby Portobello Mushrooms (or white mushrooms); chopped
3/4 Cup Marinara Sauce
1 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese (mozzarella or parmesan would work as well)

1. Follow the directions on the packet to cook the rice. Takes about 20 minutes. While the rice is cooking, fill a large stock pot up halfway with water and heat to boil. When boiling, add the bell peppers. When the color has changed from bright green to an olive/jade green, they're ready. About 15/20 minutes. 
2. Set the peppers aside to cool. Once the peppers have cooled enough that you won't burn yourself handling them, carefully cut off the tops. I'd recommend doing this step over your sink, some of the peppers retain the water from boiling and will spill everywhere! Set aside.  Preheat your oven 350 degrees.
3. In a medium frying pan, heat up the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute another 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the onion/mushroom mix cool. 
4. Once the mixture has cooled a bit, scoop the mixture into a food processor and chop until fine. If you don't have a food processor, you can just finely chop the onions and mushrooms yourself before cooking.
5. Combine 1 1/4 cups of cooked rice with the onion/mushroom mixture in a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the Marinara sauce and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and give it all a good mix.
6. In a glass casserole dish, add enough marinara sauce to line the bottom of the dish, about 1/4 cup. Line the peppers up in the dish, keeping the open side upright. Add the remainder of the rice in between the peppers to help keep them upright.
7. Scoop the mushroom/rice mixture into each pepper filling them up to the top. Take a spoonful of marinara sauce to each of the open tops of the peppers and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on each. Pop in the oven about 10-12 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

When you boil the peppers, they still have their bright green color.
After boiling, they turn to a more olive green color.
The mushrooms only need about 5 minutes of sauteing when added to the onions.
The onion/mushroom/rice mixture is not pretty, but man does it taste good!
Mahatma Yellow Saffron rice has such a great flavor, and it's cheap! I used Prego Roasted Garlic & herb sauce, but any marinara will work great! 
Fill the peppers with the mixture, dab some marinara and sprinkle cheese on top.
When they're ready, the cheese will be nice, hot and gooey.
These peppers are so delicious and easy! And they make great leftovers.

Do you have any good recipes for bell peppers? 

<3 Lauren