Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Southwest Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Southwest Black Bean Stuffed Peppers- A little messy but a lot of YUM!
At the office, we have been trying to bring healthful things to lunch in order to save calories and be more mindful of what we are putting in our bodies. We decided to each bring lunch one day per week for the whole office. This way each person only had to cook one day but got to enjoy healthy food and snacks 3 days per week. Then on Friday, we eat the leftovers from the week. This has been a huge success and we have kept it up for 4 months now. We have specific rules that we follow: no bread, no red meat, no preservatives, and include as many veggies as possible. We also really eat very little if any meat. We have succeeded in being very inventive and have found some new favorite recipes along the way. This is one that got rave reviews the first time so I decided to revisit it. The recipe just really come from what I found in my fridge one day. I always bake with a recipe but a lot of times I cook with what I have on hand and what I am craving. No instructions has resulted in some great dinners. This is one...

Southwest Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

This is a great all veggie meal. Add a green salad as a side and you are ready for Meatless Monday.

Beans, corn and tomatoes simmering.

For Rice:
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
2 tsp olive oil

For filling:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can of black beans, undrained
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of whole corn kernels
1 Jalapeno or hot banana pepper, chopped and deseeded
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 large green peppers, halved and seeded.

Bring water and 2 tsp olive oil to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice to boiling water. Cover the pot and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer untouched for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until veggies are soft. Add the black beans, tomatoes and corn. Stir to blend. Add hot pepper and all seasonings. Add vinegar. Cook all over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes to allow flavors to blend. As the veggies cook a little liquid will be produced. When the rice is finished, add it to the veggie mix and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

All lined up ready for the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the green peppers, open side up, in a 9x13 pan. Spoon rice/veggie mix into the peppers. Heap the filling up slightly as it will compress as it cooks. Continue until all the peppers are full. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place pan in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the peppers are softened. I do not like them totally soft. I like a little crunch, but if you like them cooked more add a few more minutes. Removed from oven and plate. These go great with a nice green salad!

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