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Stuffed Peppers

Hey guys! I LOVE taking requests! So here’s a recipe for a request I received today from my friend, Barbara. I’ve included a few different ways to make this recipe unique for your tastes and for different international flavors: such as traditional, Latin, Greek, & Middle Eastern... Please post photos and feedback as always!

Ingredients: • 1 cup any brown rice • 1 1/2 cups water • 8 large bell peppers, any color, tops and seeds removed (keep the tops!) • 1 medium onion, finely chopped • 2 large garlic cloves, minced • 8 oz any mushrooms, finely chopped • 1 tbsp clean oil (olive, coconut or avocado) • 1 lb ground chicken (turkey works too) • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, divided • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 tsp dried oregano and basil, each • 1 1/4 tsp salt • 1 tsp ground black pepper • 1/2 cup shredded almond cheese or any vegan cheese

Instructions: 1. Prepare the rice according to package instructions (I use Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice). Set aside. Also, preheat your oven to 400F. 2. In a skillet or pan, heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. 3. Transfer to a large bowl along with cooked rice, chicken, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well with (gloved) hands. 4. Fill each bell pepper 3/4 full with meat and rice mixture; place in a heavy bottom pot/pan with a lid or a dutch oven. Place pepper tops in between each pepper. Top each pepper with cheese. (If you choose, you can also mix some of the cheese in with the stuffing). 5. In a small bowl, mix water and remaining tomato sauce and pour over peppers and allow some to pool at the bottom of a pan. Cover with a lid and bake for 40-60 minutes. 6. Remove from the oven and serve hot with almond or coconut milk yogurt, salsa, guacamole, avocado slices, pesto, tomato sauce, hummus or any other clean condiment of your choice.

Note: you can also use quinoa instead of brown rice; also, you can season the stuffing with taco seasoning or Goya sazon, or even a middle eastern seasoning like cumin or ras al hanout, or even some chopped spinach and feta. There are many ways to get creative with this versatile meal!

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