Have a few bell peppers that are about to go bad, and need some new ideas for a small dinner gathering at your house? Stuffed bell peppers are an easy and very tasty dish that everyone will enjoy.
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
7 bell peppers, 1 cored, seeded and chopped; tops removed and reserved from remaining 6 then cored and seeded
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 pound baby spinach
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup uncooked rice (white or brown it’s up to you), rinsed and cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional) 1 cup of shredded cheese
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent – about 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches, if needed). Let spinach wilt, then stir in cumin and cooked rice and toss gently to combine. Add salt and pepper and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until just warm.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with oil then set aside.
Divide rice mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan. If you are adding cheese, now is the time to sprinkle that right on top. Cover snugly with foil and bake, checking halfway through, until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hour. Transfer to plates and serve.
This dish is also so customizable it’s not even funny. In the picture I used for this recipe I added chopped cucumber and you can always substitute the rice for quinoa as well. For more tips and vegetarian recipes don’t forget to check out my book, “The Beginners Guide to Becoming a Vegetarian,” on Amazon.