Tag Archives: stuffed peppers

Baja Stuffed Peppers

image

What inspires your cooking?
Smells, colors, freshness, memories, blog posts, magazine photos?
I’m inspired by all of these things and my weekly menu is designed around the freshest ingredients that I can find. This is a weeks worth of produce which costs me between $8-12 US depending on how much fruit I buy. Fruit is relatively expensive here because most of it has to travel farther than local vegetables. Mexico does grow a large amount of citrus, melons and tropical fruits which are available year round but I often splurge on American apples and pears which are expensive by Mexican standards. Apples can cost $1.50 each. Gasp. A huge cabbage costs about $.50 in comparison.

I buy produce at our outdoor market every Sunday and meat in town from a local grocery store or from the butcher. I confess that buying the meats on display on tables at the open air market makes my “food safety” radar go on high alert. I do realize that our local restaurants buy meat there, I’ve seen my favorite chef actually choosing meats, but I haven’t been able to get past the flys and feral dogs hovering about. I’m failing at complete Mexican cooking immersion but I’m sure there will be a blog post on the day that I give in.

This stuffed pepper recipe was inspired by these beautiful striped bell peppers. I choose the vegetables, add my aromatics, pick a cuisine or a combination of cuisines, add a protein source and start to design the dish.

Baja Stuffed Peppers

Mix and Match Ingredients for 4 servings:

4 bell peppers, any color
1 pound ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Vegans substitute legumes, tofu, nuts.
1/2 cup cooked “grains” quinoa, rice, bulgar. I used quinoa
1/2 cup diced onion
2 gloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cup chopped vegetables, I used carrots, tomatoes, and zucchini.
1/2 finely chopped chili pepper, serrano, poblano, jalepeno for heat
1/2 cup tomatoe sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs. I used flat leaf parsley, lovage and oregano. Cilantro or basil would be great too.
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add lean protein and brown. Add remaining herbs, vegetables and seasonings. Simmer until vegetables are soft but still hold their shape.
Slice off the top of each pepper and remove seeds. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and replace the tops. I use any remaking meat mixture to pack around the peppers in a casserole dish to hold them upright.

Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees until peppers are soft.
Serve with salsa, sour cream, more veggies (sautéed beet greens) and fruit.

image

 

Vegetarian Barley and Feta Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian Barley and Feta Stuffed Peppers

Vegetarian stuffed peppers
There must be a million different recipes for stuffed peppers and everyone has their favorite ingredients. Barley is a whole grain and it tastes wonderful in any vegetarian meal. Peppers make perfect little containers to hold meat, veggies, cheeses, and grains. The red peppers are pretty on a plate and impart a delicious roasted pepper taste to the stuffing. You can sneak it any additional vegetables that you like to make these peppers your own.
This may be a nice vegetarian addition to the Thanksgiving meal. Make them a day in advance and then just reheat before dinner since the oven is prime real estate on Thanksgiving. Stuffed peppers are an easy weeknight meal, too. Serve with a salad and fresh fruit for a complete meal. Want more protein? Add cannelli beans or walnuts. Want meat? Replace some of the barley with ground turkey or beef. If you can’t find quick cooking barley then use regular barley but cook it before baking otherwise you will have crunchy little barley stones in your peppers. Vegans you know what to do: Substitute cheese with vegan cheese or skip it entirely.

Vegetarian Barley and Feta Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot chopped finely
1 cup quick cook barley, I used Trader Joe’s brand.
1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped
1 cup low sodium canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning or combine oregano, marjoram, basil, thyme
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F
2. Slice peppers in half through the stem and remove seeds.
3. Sauté onions and carrots in olive oil until crisp tender about 10 minutes, add remaining ingredients except the feta and bring to a boil.
4. Fill peppers with barley and sauce. Top with feta.
5. Bake in greased and covered baking dish until soft and golden.