Stuffed Peppers for Two

2 red bell peppers (with flat bottoms so they can stand up)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 t. olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 t. tomato paste
1 t. chili powder
4 oz. lean ground beef (you can use ground turkey)
1 tomato, cored, seeded and choped
2 T. chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)
1 T. parsley, minced
1 T. lemon juice

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Trim 1/2 inch off the top of the bell peppers and remove the veins and seeds. Add 1 T. of salt to the water and add the peppers. Cook until they just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain and place cut-side down on a paper towel.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the carrots and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder and salt to taste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Stir in the tomato and chicken broth and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 2 minutes.

Stir the rice into the beef mixture and add all but 2 T. of the shredded cheese, the parsley and the lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide the mixture between the two peppers and place them into an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with the remaining 2 T. cheese and bake until the cheese is browned and the filling is heated, about 30 minutes.

Serves: 2
7 Poodles