Recipe of the Week: Stuffed Peppers

The recipe I have chosen for this week is stuffed bell peppers. Now, there are a few reasons for this; I especially love this dish because its so aesthetically pleasing if you’re using a bunch of different coloured peppers. You can easily find a three pack of yellow (sometimes orange), red and green peppers from any grocery store at a cheap price. The best part is, you don’t have to stick to a set list of fillings, add in whatever you like, making it your very own! However, if you follow the recipe for these particular stuffed peppers, along with being aesthetically pleasing, they’re quick to make, relatively cheap and also filling! You get the dietary fibres and vitamins from the veggies (not to mention a scrumptious crunch!), carbs from the rice, which provides you with instant energy, and calcium and protein from the cheese! The amazing thing about this recipe is, it might look like it would be difficult or time consuming, but once you get the cooking process started, its as simple as it gets! Quick, easy and absolutely delish!

The ingredients you need for this recipe are:

–      Bell Peppers

–      Instant rice (I prefer Uncle Ben’s)

–      For the veggies:

–      Red onions, black beans, corn, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms

Cheddar cheese

–      Salt and pepper

–      Tomato sauce or marinara sauce (I prefer marinara as its more flavourful)

Cooking method:

Okay! So I like to divide this recipe into 4 simple steps. Step 1 is assembling and gathering your ingredients, step 2 is prepping your ingredients, step 3 is cooking your veggies and assembling, and finally, step 4 is everyone’s favourite, the munching!

Now, great news, you’ve already accomplished the first step. With the second step what you want to do first is cut your bell peppers side ways and not from the top, as this makes for better portioning. This would allow you to make six portions, which you could keep for later or share with friends! Next, de-seed your peppers and give them a quick wash under cold water so they are ready to be boiled. My advice is to boil the peppers for about 3-4 minutes maximum as roasting them would take you about 30 minutes; so this way its more time efficient. After giving them a boil, set them aside for the filling; however, if you want your peppers to be on the crunchier side, skip this step all together! So, lets start our veggie prep! Taking a sharp knife, chop up your red onion, tomato and mushroom into tiny cubes or squares and wash up the beans, corn and olives, getting them ready to go right into the pan. You can use any kind of beans, the first few times I made this dish I used red as they are generally easier to find at any local store, however, I would prefer black beans instead. I think they taste much better in this concoction.

Alright, so moving on to the next step, heat up some oil into a pan (sunflower oil is the cheapest option) and throw in your onion and mushrooms first as they require more cooking time, along with this, salt and pepper to taste. Then, after a few minutes when the onions start to turn translucent and your mushrooms start shrinking, add in all the other veggies, and then your rice ( I used Uncle Ben’s Mexican rice) and mix it all up, letting it sauté for a couple of minutes. After this, add in your tomato sauce and let all the flavours intertwine and come together to build this beautiful concoction. When all the ingredients have warmed up together, you can also add the cheese and mix it in with everything. I do prefer adding the cheese in now as it helps everything to stick together and when you go on to assembling the peppers, nothing will fall out. I would recommend keeping your hand a little light on the sauce, though as you don’t want you filling to turn soggy. No one likes soggy. I’m not sure if anyone even finds the word soggy appealing. Anyway…

Moving on to step 3, take your peppers and carefully fill them up, and top them up with some yummy, yummy cheddar cheese, even if you have already added it before…I mean the more the merrier, right? The cheese normally would melt as the filling will be hot, but if you want a roasted, or rather ‘crusty’ (another word I can’t stand), put your peppers into the oven for a little bit. To sum up this recipe, after you take your peppers out of the oven, let them cool off for a little bit. Don’t be like my little sister, who burns her tongue every single time after I cook her something, because for some reason, she always seems to think I’m somehow joking about how hot the food is…which I fail to understand. Anyway, coming back to point, let your peppers cool off for a little bit and thendig in. Lastly, as this is a Mexican twist to stuffed peppers, add a nice dollop of sour cream on top, finishing it off! (Sometimes, to make it fancy I sprinkle chopped up green onions as they add a little freshness to the dish). You can have these by themselves because personally I think they do a good job at filling you up, but if you have a greater appetite than I do, you can pair them with some zucchini noodles, which are easily available pre-made at any store. Other than this, rice noodles also make a yummy substitute!

Step 4, eat! Enjoy! Invite your flatmates for a bite…or don’t. Pretend like its just a ready made meal and keep them all for yourselves!

If you do try out this recipe, make sure to take a picture and upload it on to Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag: #CUBRecipes, along with your feedback so I can check them out!

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