We are always looking for ways to make a rich, high-calorie meal healthier. Stuffed bell peppers is one meal that can serve as a side dish and a main course. You can easily switch out some heavier, high fat ingredients for fresher, lighter alternatives.
It's also a great way to include anyone's eating habits, from vegetarians to meat eaters. Everyone can get on board with these peppy peppers.
Dropping the amount of shredded cheese and sour cream from my grandmother's recipe, I added some goat cheese instead, fresh from a local farmer's market.
And to replace the fatty ground beef, we chose a soy chorizo, with less fat but still chock full of protein. You can basically substitute any meat or filling, like quinoa or more rice or even eggs and potatoes. (I'll get that recipe up soon!)
Chorizo and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers
- 4 red, yellow or green bell peppers
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup soy chorizo
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, softened
- 1 tbs. freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 sharp cheddar slices or 1/2 cup of sharp shredded cheese
- Olive oil for sauté and grease baking dish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sauté onions, garlic, carrots, cilantro in 1 tbs. oil for about seven minutes.
Add to medium bowl with softened goat cheese, chorizo and rice. Mix gently adding pepper and salt and let sit for about ten minutes while you prepare your peppers.
Wash peppers, and carefully cut around stem in a circle to cut out the top of the pepper.
With your fingers, gently pull out the ribs and tap pepper upside-down to get out seeds.
Lightly grease a small casserole dish and sit upright in dish.
Fill peppers with chorizo and rice filling.
Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and top with cheese slices or shredded cheese.
Place back in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble slightly.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly and serve. Freezes well for 4-6 months.
Twinkle VanWinkle has over 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and has appeared on Food Network's "The Best Of..." Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.
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