We are trying to coax the sunny, warm temperatures in Texas to come on up and visit us in Southwestern Ontario. We just got home from walking the dogs and we were both wearing hats and gloves. Come on, I swear it's been 6 weeks since that groundhog predicted an early Spring!!!
We know we're going to have to grin and bear it until the warm temperatures decide to head our way, but in the meantime I decided I was going to make us up a delicious tex mex meal filled with two of my favourite and most used spices: chili powder and cumin.
You may remember that I bought all those mini sweet peppers last week and I still had 6 I needed to use up, as well as a green pepper that was on its last legs. So, I decided that I was going to try my hand at some tex mex-style stuffed peppers. Since the majority of my peppers were minis, I added "smothered" in there because there isn't much room for any stuffing to happen.
Southwestern Stuffed & Smothered Peppers
I had one large green pepper and six mini peppers for this recipe ~ I imagine it would work to stuff 4 regular sized peppers - any colour of pepper will do
1 c cooked brown rice
2/3 c black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c corn
1/2 small red onion, diced (I used a shallot)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/3 c your favourite marinara sauce (I used the leftover marinara from Monday)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
Wash your peppers. If you have large peppers, cut the tops off and remove the seeds. If you are using smaller peppers, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Arrange the peppers in the baking dish.
Look at that gorgeous rainbow of peppers!! Trust me, they taste as good as they look!
In a large mixing bowl, add rice, black beans, corn, onion and 2/3 c of the marinara. Mix well. Add the cumin, chili powder and sea salt. Mix well again.
Fill the peppers, or in the case of the minis, smother them with the filling.
Add a second layer of smothering, by covering the peppers with the remaining marinara sauce.
Alot of recipes smother the peppers in cheese at this point, but I am staying away from dairy right now and quite frankly these peppers tasted so good on their own, they didn't need the cheese.
Bake the peppers for 45 minutes.
Yum - the aroma starts wafting around the house after about 20 minutes in the oven!
Remove from the oven, serve & enjoy.
Unfortunately, Derek is now extremely sick. I wanted to make him something that he loved that was delicious and comforting. I decided to whip up a pot of mashed 'taters. I made them vegan-style using almond milk and Earth Balance. I think they were some of the best mashed 'taters I have ever had! You can see by the picture below that we left the skins on....so yummy and much easier than peeling potatoes!! Even Derek said they were really good (he has no idea what I used in them <wink wink>)!
This was such a satisfying and delicious meal. The peppers did take a little longer than I initially expected, so we ate a little later than usual, but believe me when I say they were worth the wait!! My marinara sauce was packed full of veggies and lentils and it went just perfectly with the peppers, plus it packed an extra punch of nutrition to the meal.
Wishing you all a happy Hump Day ~ weekend, here we come :-)