Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

I was at the grocery store the other day and saw red peppers on sale for $0.89! Eighty nine cents!!! For those of you who don't pay attention to how much each item you buy at the grocery store costs (I have to - I'm a starving college kid), red bell peppers get expensive. The green one's aren't bad - they usually go for about $1 a piece or so. But the red ones can be as much as $3 for one! Which is usually enough incentive to just buy the green ones, even though the red taste sooo good. So anyway, I seized the opportunity and grabbed a few... and then had to think up ways to cook them. So here's one of them - Stuffed Peppers. These are very easy to make and the recipe is very flexible. No matter what you do, they're almost guaranteed to be good!

I used brown rice in mine because I like the nutritional value and I think it tastes better. However, brown rice takes longer to cook, so if you decide to use it make sure you start the rice about an hour before you want to eat. Yes, it does take that long. Stick with white if you're in a hurry!

2 red bell peppers (or green, or yellow, or orange... whatever you prefer), halved and seeded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup rice (brown or white, see note above)
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried herb blend

For the sauce (optional):
1/2 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup soy milk

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and rice and cook stirring frequently until rice is toasted and onions are transparent (begin about an hour and a half before you want to eat if you are using brown rice).
  2. Add one can of tomato sauce, spices and herbs, and 2 cups water. Stir well. Lower heat to a simmer and let cook covered until all liquid is absorbed, about an hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.
  3. While rice is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Place pepper halves in the water and cook for about 3 minutes, until just slightly tender. Remove from pot and immediately place in cold water to halt the cooking process. 
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. When the rice is done, pour the other can of tomato sauce and 1 cup water into the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Place pepper halves in dish and fill with rice. 
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 
  7. While the peppers are baking, place sauce ingredients in a food processor and grind until smooth. 
  8. Top stuffed peppers with avocado sauce (and cheese, if desired) and serve!

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