So, the semester is in full swing by now. What that means is that I'm busier than I was during the summer (I've got 13% of the student body across all of my classes this semester), but that the semester has mostly settled into a routine. I know which nights I'm going to have more work to do and which nights I'm going to have more free time. For this semester, I've decided that Tuesday nights will be nights when I attempt a new crockpot meal (Shana stays in Indy, so I can test new recipes and engage in minimal effort). Last night's new crockpot meal was a big bust. Perhaps because of that, I wasn't feeling hopeful about tonight's dinner. Turns out my fears were unfounded.
The necessary back-story to this dinner is that I've tried numerous (4? 7?) times to make a stuffed pepper recipe that we like. I've been unsuccessful. We've eaten stuffed peppers that we like (notably with friends from NY), but I couldn't make a delicious version at home. I'd make an attempt, it would turn out poorly, and neither one of us would want to eat stuffed peppers for a while. Eventually, I'd start to think about them again, playing with ingredients in my mind, and would convince Shana to let me try again. Tonight was a success!! Now I guess I need another recipe to ponder.
Maggie's Stuffed Peppers
4 medium (or slightly bigger) bell peppers
1, 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1, 8.5 oz. can of corn
1 medium onion, chopped
2 c. uncooked brown minute rice
1 3/4 c. veggie broth (I used "No Chicken")
5 oz. mild enchilada sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375
1. Using the broth in place of water, prepare the minute rice as per package directions.
2. Meanwhile, saute the onion in a bit of oil until soft and a bit browned.
3. Cut the tops off the peppers and clear out the seeds.
4. Combine the beans, corn, cooked onion, cooked rice, enchilada sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
5. Fill each pepper with bean mixture, lightly packing the mixture in and creating a small mound on top.
6. Place the filled peppers in an oven safe dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 15 minutes covered, then uncover and bake another 15 minutes.
7. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil for 1-2 minutes.
- Much of this recipe hinges on the fact that I simply cannot make dry minute rice. No matter what I do, the rice is still a bit wetter than rice I cook any other way. If you are magically able to make perfect minute rice, you may want to add a bit of water when you're mixing the filling together. It should be quite moist. Also, if you are magically able to make perfect minute rice, can you tell me what I'm doing wrong?!?
- Shana and I were super surprised that we liked the cheese on top. I added it as a whim at the end, but it was really good. The next time I do this, I might even add a small amount to the filling so that it is throughout the dish.
- Enchilada sauce may sound weird here, but it's really an underlying flavor. If you really don't like it, you can certainly sub out regular tomato sauce, but tomato soup may work even better as a substitute because it has a similar consistency.
- If you're careful about the broth and vegan cheese you use, this is a gluten free dish. If you're careful about what tomato product you use, this is also soy-free.
- Finally, cooked this way, the peppers still had a good bit of freshness? rawness? crunch? to them. They were cooked, but not soggy. If you like your peppers more cooked, I'd recommend putting a small amount of water in the bottom of your cooking dish so that the peppers will steam some while covered.