Origin date: December 1, 2009

Now that I have shown you the wonders of the Food Co-op, lets get cookin’ with it!! Broccoli was one of the items in this month’s order as well as red bell peppers. So in addition to the best broccoli of your life (see previous post), I had some red bell peppers for dinner too! I love the smell of red bell peppers, before you even slice them open you can already taste them.

Red bell peppers are just green bell peppers that have been allowed to fully ripen. They have a much sweeter taste and are easier to digest than green bell peppers. Red bell peppers are also full of vitamins A and C which are powerful antioxidants, and there has been a ton of talk about antioxidants. Many drinks and bottled, sweetened teas tout that they contain them but the best way for your body to absorb them is through natural foods and not artificially flavored drinks.

One of my favorite way to prepared them is stuffed with left-over rice, veggie crumbles (wheat meat) or ground beef, with sauteed veggies and baked with melted cheese on top….. *drool*. There are a plethora of stuffed pepper recipes out there, definitely feel free to mix and match and add anything you like. The recipe I use is a recipe I found online. I added a few things according to my mood that day or what veggies I have left in the fridge.

This recipe can be tailored to what ever your tastes and is a very effective left-over manager. One stuffed pepper can act as a complete meal too. It has veggies, protein, grains and cheese (!) I like to throw in a palmful of sunflower kernels. The kernels add a beautiful, nutty crunch and provides potassium, magnesium and ‘good fats’ that reduce cholesterol.

Yeah, it was a pretty good dinner….

IMG_7093Roasted Red Bell Peppers

1 lbs. ground beef or veggie crumbles, browned and fat poured off

1 cup prepared long grain rice (brown rice is my favorite in this recipe)

4 large sweet red bell peppers

3 Tbsp of butter

1 medium onion chopped

1/3 cup celery, finely diced

1/3 cup carrots, finely diced

1/2 cup sunflower kernels or shelled seeds

1/4 cup of freshly minced parsley or 2 Tbsp of dried parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup freshly shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, colby jack or monterrey jack works well)

Preheat oven to 400 F

Cut peppers in half. Remove seeds and white membrane. Quick boil the peppers in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve 1/3 cup boiling liquid. Arrange cutside up in a lightly oiled baking dish.

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Added onion celery, carrot, and sunflower kernels. Saute until onion is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in rice. Add parsley, eggs, oregano, black pepper, rice and ground beef or veggie crumbles. Stir to combine and salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon filling into pepper halves and sprinkle cheese on top. Pour reserved boiling liquid into the bottom of the baking dish.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for a couple of minutes (the inside is always super hot). Serve and enjoy!