Mexican Stuffed Peppers
I was tempted to call this 'One-Pan Mexican Roasted Stuffed Peppers', but technically there are two pans involved. Still, it’s very easy once you’ve got the ingredients.
This is another healthy recipe that go a lot of ways:
• Use black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, or even lentils (which is what I used in the version that is pictured here).
• Try all rice, all quinoa, or a mix of the two. (Quinoa is gluten-free and is not a grain- it’s more closely related to chard- for those on special diets.)
In the photos I used 1 cup of red quinoa and 2 cups of yamani brown rice. (Both cold, leftovers out of the fridge.)
• Add different veggies to the filling, or use a good jar of salsa (or fresh homemade salsa) in place of the canned red pepper and tomato paste. Chopped green olives make a nice addition.
• Try roasting green bell peppers, red bell peppers (or orange or yellow bell peppers)... or a different type of pepper such as anaheim.
• If you like cheese, you can melt some on top or add some grated to the filling at the same time as the eggs. Otherwise, it’s delicious and satisfying as it is (dairy-free).
• If you are vegan (no eggs), then you can skip them altogether and go with a looser filling. It’s still very good.
• Serve with flour or corn tortillas to make your own stuffed pepper tacos (yum!), or just top with some simple avocado and tabasco. You can also add some fresh chopped cilantro to the filling, or as a garnish.
Usually, I make the rice and beans or lentils early in the week, keeping enough in the fridge with this meal in mind. You could also use canned beans or lentils, of course.
As always, the recipe below is a version of this dish that I particularly like. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t mix it up too. The one thing I don’t change is the addition of the anise seed. It’s adds a little something to this dish that I think makes it extra special.
Recipe for Mexican Roasted & Stuffed Peppers
Makes six stuffed pepper halves. Most people eat one to two (I had one and a half), so feel free to scale it up for larger groups.
3 large bell peppers (color of your choice, or a mix)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground red pepper (the mild kind)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chile powder (optional)
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can roasted red peppers- drained and diced (about 1/4 cup)
2 cups cooked beans or lentils (drained)
3 cups cooked rice and/ or quinoa
5 eggs- whisked
Heat the oven to 400F (175C).
Wash and cut the whole bell peppers in half (right through the stem). Pull out the stem head, ribs and seeds and discard them. Rinse under the tap to get loose seeds off easily.
Peel the onion and cut it in half.
Peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole for now.
Place the peppers cut side down in a 9X12 baking dish with the onion halves and garlic cloves. Roast in the hot oven 20 minutes (in the middle or upper part of the oven). The tops of the veggies should be getting a little bit black after 20 minutes.
Remove the onion halves and garlic cloves and let cool for the next step.
Flip the peppers and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until tender yet not totally soft or mushy.
Place all of the spices and the olive oil over medium heat on your cooktop. Chop the onion and garlic and add to this mix. Sauté lightly for a few minutes until very fragrant.
Add the beans or lentils and combine. Add the tomato paste and diced red pepper and stir well.
Then add the rice and mix thoroughly.
When everything is warmed through and well-combined, turn off the heat and add the eggs. Stir just to coat everything.
By now the peppers should be done roasting and ready to fill. Spoon the filling into each pepper half. Put extra in and around the peppers directly in the pan.
Put back the oven for another 15 minutes until fully set. Turn off the heat and give it another 3-5 minutes until the tops just start to brown.
Remove from oven and let cool a bit before serving.
Serve these up Mexican-style with your favorite sides or toppings. At a minimum, some fresh avocado on top :)
With black beans, cherry tomatoes and yamani brown rice
Made with red kidney beans and long grain rice, topped with smashed avocado and simple slaw
With chickpeas and roasted cherry tomatoes
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