Monday, August 9, 2010

Meatless Monday | Veggie Stuffed Peppers

I have talked about the Don’t Panic method before when I made Tuna Noodle Bake. It was okay, not the best thing I ever made. I actually still have the stuff on hand to make another pan, but it may not happy. As summer vegetables are at their peak and only have a couple of months left, I am going to start making larger dishes that can be easily frozen. Casseroles in August? I must be crazy. But it’s the easiest way to use up the large quantities of produce. Cooking for two is great, but using half a squash and a small onion doesn’t get you through your Grow Alabama box.

Let me tell you about summer’s bounty. I somehow had 11 ears of corn in my fridge last week. What the heck was I going to make with 11 ears of corn? Well first off I made two batches of Corn and Bacon Chowder and froze them in freezer bags. That will be tasty in December when my fridge won’t know what fresh corn looks like.

Last week I made Veggie Stuffed Peppers. It’s a Weight Watcher’s recipe (from the cookbook TurnAround) that I decided to make because I was feeding three people and because I had corn, tomatoes, and bell pepper that was taking up way too much space in my fridge. The recipe actually calls for using frozen corn and canned tomatoes… but I had it on hand, so I just used fresh. They were a hit with the roomie and the boyfriend. So I decided to make them again and freeze them (because I still have corn, pepper, and a can of tomatoes to use up).

And because it's Meatless Monday, I thought this would be the perfect recipe to share.

The pictures below show the first go round when I had the pretty yellow and red peppers. Later, I only had green peppers and so that’s what I used. These would even be tasty with pablano peppers (probably my favorite mild green pepper).

I added a little bit of cheese.
Veggie Stuffed Peppers
(Serves Four)
4 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 (10-ounce) box frozen corn kernals, thawed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup cooked brown rice
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the bell peppers until tender, about 4 minutes, then drain.
2. To prepare the filling, spray a large nonstick skillet with olive oil nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, chili powder, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice.
3. Stuff the filling into each bell-pepper half. Place the stuffed peppers in a shallow 2-quart casserole. Cover with foil and bake until heated through, 20-25 minutes.

A note on freezing: The peppers could have been frozen several different ways. Firstly, I baked them before I froze them. Next time I might just wait to make them until the day I decide to make them. They could have been frozen on cookie sheets, wrapped in paper, and put in a freezer bag. I could have taken out one or two peppers depending on who I was feeding. But I chose to get some small aluminum pans and put two servings (4 halves) in each pan. I am not sure how I will reheat them yet. Either I’ll let them thaw and microwave or I’ll put them frozen directly into the oven and baked them until they are warmed through.

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