365 days of happiness: day 328


photo (16)

T is working late tonight, so I took advantage of the empty apartment and made something I love and she hates: stuffed peppers.

Chef S (read: my sorority house chef) used to make delicious stuffed peppers, and I’ve been dying to make them ever since I got my own apartment. But, making something that makes T gag probably isn’t proper roommate etiquette, so I saved this cooking adventure for tonight. And, rather than trying to cut down the recipe to one serving, I invited my parents to come try it with me.

Chef S made his stuffed peppers with rice, ground beef and tomato sauce, but I thought I’d try a vegetarian recipe. It wasn’t without its road bumps (I forgot to make the rice until my veggies were sauteed and ready to go in the peppers, and then I put aside the 1 cup of veggie mix after I mixed in the rice – whoops), but overall, I’d say my first stab at stuffed peppers was a success!

Here’s what you need:

  • medium bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • small zucchini, diced
  • 14 1/2 ounces whole tomatoes, in thick puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups rice, cooked (don’t forget to start cooking the rice when you’re sauteing the veggies!)
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Here’s what you do:

  • Have ready a 5-quart pot, a rack or steamer basket to set in pot and an 8-inch square baking dish.
  • Cut tops off peppers just below stem and remove seeds.
  • Fill pot with 1 inch of water and insert a rack or steamer basket. Bring to a boil.
  • Place peppers, cut-side down on rack, cover pot and cook 4 minutes.
  • Remove peppers and place cut-side up in baking dish.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. (Use a pot instead. You’ll need the room.)
  • Add onion and garlic and saute until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in zucchini, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Break up tomatoes with a spoon.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
  • Stir in corn.
  • Remove 1 cup and reserve.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Stir rice and 1/4 cup cheese into remaining vegetable mixture. (I forgot the cheese, but sprinkled it on top when the peppers had 5 minutes left to bake.)
  • Spoon into peppers.
  • Loosely cover baking dish with foil.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and sprinkle peppers with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 10 min, longer or until hot and cheese is melted. (I only baked for 20 minutes.)
  • Meanwhile, puree reserved vegetable mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. (Does not work well when you have rice mixed in. Oops.)
  • Pour into skillet. (Yeah, I did not do any of these steps. I also didn’t really have the sauce with the peppers, since I messed that up when I added the rice too early. Still, the peppers were tasty – this will probably make them even tastier.)
  • Add water, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Serve sauce with peppers.

Recipe via Recipe Lion

I’m glad my parents were able to experience this adventure with me–for one thing, it would’ve been nice to have someone to laugh with had the recipe gone completely astray, rather than cry about it alone in my apartment (not that I would do that, of course). Luckily, neither of those things happened. I’m bummed the picture is blurry, but apparently I was in a hurry to snap the photo and eat my dinner. Go figure.

The peppers don’t look like much on our plates, but they were really filling. We each had one apiece, then some strawberries and raspberries on the side. Filling and healthy! Just the way I like it.


2 thoughts on “365 days of happiness: day 328

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