savory stuffed peppers

savory stuffed peppers on a plate with a hunk of crusty bread and a glass of wineWhy have boring green peppers when you can feast your eyes on orange, yellow, and sweet red peppers stuffed with a savory rice-rich mixture? Any leftover rice mix can be baked in a loaf pan. If you use fresh herbs in this recipe, use three times the quantity.

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; if you prep before you start, it goes much more quickly!

1 bell pepper of each color: red, yellow, orange
1 cup wild rice blend, cooked according to directions
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup onion, diced
2/3 cup chopped bell peppers, any color
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp. sea salt, and black pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
½ cup tomato juice
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup TVP
1 Tbs. dried parsley flakes (3 Tbs. fresh)
2 tsp. dried basil leaves (2 Tbs. fresh)
1 tsp. dried oregano (1 Tbs. fresh)

Cut peppers in half crosswise or lengthwise. Remove stem, seeds, and ribs.

Blanch for 1 minute: Place into boiling water for 1 minute, then remove and immediately place into ice water bath for 1 minute. Set each pepper on a rack or towel to drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While rice is cooking, prep the vegetables.

In a large pan, sauté onion and chopped peppers in oil for 2 minutes.

Add spinach, mushrooms, garlic, salt, and black and cayenne pepper. Cook on medium heat until spinach and mushrooms are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add cooked rice, tomato juice and ketchup, TVP and spices; blend well. Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Place pepper halves in a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with oil. Stuff gently with rice mixture.

Bake, loosely covered with foil, for 1 hour.

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