Last night was the perfect evening for enjoying one of my favourite vegetarian meals. It was rainy and cool, and I didn’t mind turning on the stove for some good home cooking. Stuffed peppers (or tomatoes) of all variations are delicious and nutritious. They also fill you up with healthy grains and protein. In this version of stuffed bell peppers, I included tomatoes, onions, basil, brown rice, black beans and soft goat’s cheese. You could also add corn, cilantro, cheddar cheese, green chiles, mushrooms or chopped celery. As you can see, there are a ton of options to make this dish your own.
What I enjoy about rice and vegetable stuffed bell peppers is they are, in my opinion, lighter on your stomach than the ones filled with ground meat. Over the past six months and maybe longer, I’ve been gravitating towards a vegetarian palette, so I prefer these. Not to mention that for the hot summer days ahead, it’s nice to have a satisfying meatless meal (note: you can make these in the slow cooker!). And this is a wonderful choice.
Aiden loved how colourful they were and asked me if we were eating doughnuts for dinner. Mr. Smith said that was the highest compliment coming from a three year old who is crazy for doughnuts! He has a date with daddy about once or twice a month, where they ride the bus together to a coffee shop, each pick out a doughnut and sit beside each other to eat it. When he tried the stuffed pepper, he was disappointed that it didn’t taste like he imagined, but he still ate a little bit and then decided he just wanted carrot sticks and oatmeal for dinner.
I chose yellow peppers, because they were so fresh and had such a beautiful colour. Also, call me crazy, but they seem easier to digest. Is that just me? For the black beans, it’s important to rinse them thoroughly several times. Depending on the brand you purchase (try to pick low-sodium, organic), the liquid that comes in the can may be full of sodium. From my experience it also helps with digestion of beans if they are thoroughly washed prior to eating.
- 6 bell peppers, tops cut and inner seeds removed
- 2 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed several times
- 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of diced onions
- 1/2 cup of soft goat's cheese
- 3 Tbso of chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbsp of virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper & salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare all of the ingredients (wash, dice, cut peppers)
- In a large bowl, combine brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, touch of salt and pepper.
- Scoop the rice filling into the peppers.
- Place in a large deep baking dish. Top each pepper with a few pieces of goat's cheese.
- It's up to you whether you place the tops of the peppers back on top, or on the side of the dish to bake. I left mine off to let the cheese get browned, but if I wasn't using goat's cheese, I would have left them on.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until peppers are nice and tender.
- Serve and enjoy!