Peppers “Almost” Gone Bad

Last night I really, really, really needed to use up some green bell peppers that we had in the fridge. They were almost to the point of having to toss but not quite yet there. Although I was really craving going out and having a Queen Margarita Pizza (if you haven’t been this is a great little pizza place in Magnolia), I knew I needed to force myself to think of something to do with them! Not sure why, but I am so bad at using up bell peppers even though I love them!

As I needed to use so many (well at least 3), and as I had just done fajita’s the week before, I had no idea how to prepare them in an exciting way which would make me look forward to eating them. After searching online and remembering that the hubby really wanted to make something that would allow us to use and try a rice & quinoa mix we had purchased from Costco a while back, I decided on stuffed peppers. I also remembered I had some onions and celery that needed to be used up as well as some leftover cooked chicken from the night before. Basically, stuffed peppers were screaming my name…all the ingredients were available 🙂

Overall, I say they turned out pretty dang good. My only comment while eating dinner was “I could have probably cooked these a little longer.” Although the pepper was cooked, it wasn’t as soft as I would have liked. Oh well, it still tasted good. And, as the Mr. ended up eating at church at the Community Dinner that was taking place while he was volunteering at the food bank, we have TONS of leftovers that will work for lunches the next few days. In fact, it I had one today and it reheated very well!

I am impressed with myself – I took a lot of stuff we had on hand and came up with these…don’t they look yummy???

Rice & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 cup Tru Roots Organic Rice & Quinoa Mix (Cooked according to package)
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
5 large bell peppers (any color), tops cut off and ribs removed
~1/3 cup Tomato Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onion and celery for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft, then add cumin and garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Stir in drained tomatoes, chicken and black beans and cook for 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in rice & quinoa mix as well as 1/4 cup of cheese and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pour reserved liquid from tomatoes in the bottom of your baking dish along with 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Fill each halved bell pepper with rice & quinoa mixture and place in baking dish. Top each pepper with 1 tbsp tomato sauce. Cover with foil and bake 40-50 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cheese. Cook until melted.  Transfer stuffed bell peppers onto serving dish and drizzle pan juices over top.
I recommend giving these a try. If you aren’t able to get the Costco mix we used, regular quinoa or rice would work just fine! Enjoy!
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