Stuffed Peppers For Two

by Anne Bennett on September 21, 2010

When I told daughter Elizabeth that I had made stuffed peppers, she lamented that we never had them when she was growing up. I realized that she was right.

Why had I neglected this recipe for so long? My guess is that my mother made stuffed peppers so often, and so badly, when I was young that I became “peppered out”. Along with tuna noodle casserole, they signified another of those 1950’s concoctions that housewives discovered in the red-and-white checkered “Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook” and then made with infuriating frequency.

My mom used green peppers exclusively, stuffed them raw with a ground beef/tomato/rice mixture and cooked them until they were soggy-soft. We loved them, but then what did we know? We also loved frozen tuna pot pies and Swanson Fried Chicken TV dinners. We had no appreciable taste.

One whole pepper is a pretty hefty serving!

This recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s “Healthy Family Cookbook”.  The original recipe is more complicated, as is their usual method, and serves four.

Here’s what I did: rather than cook brown rice from scratch, I used the Whole Grain Brown version of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, which cooks in the microwave in 90 seconds. I also halved the recipe to serve just two. Leftovers would have been ice, but memories of Mom’s soggy peppers caused me to reconsider.

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

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mel April 19, 2015 at 9:18 am

What is the oven temp for this?

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