Who here loves Stuffed Peppers? This girl is raising her hand up high. They are a personal favorite of mine and I was so excited to receive coupons for Bell Peppers in the mail this week.
I love the different ways you can flavor them and how colorful and fresh they make your plate.
My typical Bell Pepper recipe is to stuff them with Italian Sausage, Marinara, Spinach, and Rice then top with gooey Mozzarella cheese. I certainly didn’t depart from that recipe because I don’t like it, I simple wanted to work with the leftovers in my refrigerator.
This is how I come about most of my recipes and my best tool for managing our budget. I try very hard to utilize all of our food and it can make some wonderful concoctions. This was no exception. I began with a savory corn salad that I had served earlier in the week.
Corn Salad Instructions and Ingredients
5 ribs of Celery, Diced
1/2 Red Onion, Diced
I sauteed them up with a 1/4 cup of the Garlic Herb Butter from this recipe.
One could simply use; butter, salt, pepper, and a pinch or two of some favorite herbs.
Stir in 3 cups of frozen corn kernels and saute until soft.
For the original serving of this recipe I added some diced Jalapenos,topped with cheese and baked for 10 minutes to melt it all together.
For this recipe I combined 2 cups of the leftover Corn Salad with 2 cups of pre-cooked rice, and some shredded barbecue chicken.
Normally, I would stuff them all and bake in the oven for an hour at 350* to ensure the bell peppers are tender. On this particular day, however, we lost track of time playing outside and I needed to speed things up.
To accomplish this; I turned on a pot of water, pre-heated the oven to 425*, chopped my peppers in half, removed the seeds and pulp, and submerged all 4 halves in the boiling water for 3 minutes. I then scooped the mixture of corn salad, rice, and chicken into each half shell, topped with Swiss cheese and baked for 15 minutes.
Now, just so I am being honest with you. My love for Bell Peppers was not handed down to my oldest child. In fact, it is the one food that he will gag on with a face full of tears before agreeing to swallow. I strive,in general, to be a mother who is willing to meet my kids where they are, and this is one of those occasions. I took the extra 30 seconds to scoop some rice and veggies into a bowl for him before baking the bell peppers. His food was cool when I ate mine, there were no tears, and everyone survived.
The only food he absolutely will not eat is bell peppers and that is a battle I have laid down. This rice dish still had some vegetables and protein, making it a perfectly acceptable kids dinner.
I know this was a little bit of a scattered recipe. It was a concoction from the fridge, but I love to share those too to show you how to use your leftovers. I’m hoping to make more meal-plannings posts as time goes on.
In the meantime, here is the basic breakdown for stuffed peppers with whatever happens to be filling up the Tupperware in your refrigerator.
Bell Peppers- whichever color you prefer. Green is the most firm and bitter. Red is the softest and sweetest.
Pre-Cooked Grain- Rice, Quinoa, Sorghum. You will want roughly a 1/2 cup of cooked grain per each bell pepper.
Pre-Cooked Meat or Beans- Whatever you have on hand is a perfectly acceptable amount. You can stretch the budget this way.
Some chopped Veggies to add flavor and vitamins- diced onion, celery, or garlic, chopped spinach or kale, corn, etc.
A sauce for the base- marina, garlic butter, alfredo, barbecue sauce, etc. Just make sure it pairs with the other flavors on your plate.
Cheese- The more the merrier, as far as I am concerned. I tend to use Mozzarella or Parmesan for my sausage and marinara recipe, and the swiss cheese paired well with barbecue chicken.
For green bell peppers, I would always pre-boil them for a few moments to take out some of the harsh flavor and stiffness. For the other colors, you may pre-boil to reduce time but it isn’t necessary.
They can cook for an hour at 350* or be pre-boiled and just toast them up for 15 minutes at 425*.
I hope you have some fun experimenting on your own and would love to hear what you tried!