I’ve seen stuffed pepper recipes all over and in all different forms the past few years. Italian stuffed peppers, taco stuffed peppers, chicken and pesto stuffed peppers– you name it. But for a weeknight meal, it seemed like one step too many for me. Why not just throw all those same ingredients in a bowl instead of taking the time to put them in the peppers and bake? But then as I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw a Buzzfeed Tasty video pop up for taco stuffed peppers… and you know how they make everything look so easy and quick. Side note: just because something is fast and easy doesn’t mean it’s healthy… I’ve seen a few claims that those videos or other recipes are healthy because they only contain a few ingredients. Remember to be mindful and look at the nutrition information. So anyways, I saw the video and thought it looked much simpler than I thought it would be and that it was something I could easily modify to be a healthy dinner. So I tried it out. And guess what? It was easy! It was delicious, it was simple, and it made for a great presentation on the plate. The family loved it! I made modifications to the recipes as my “Meatless Monday” vegetarian meal and even my meat-loving husband raved about them. My version of the recipe is below.
Lighter Taco Stuffed Peppers
3 bell peppers (any color, preferably red/orange/yellow)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Taco seasoning (I always make my own using this recipe)
1 cup corn
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 jar of salsa
3 Tablespoons 2% sharp cheddar cheese
Plain Greek Yogurt (optional)
Sliced avocado (optional)
Diced Tomato (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top of the peppers off, pull out the stem from the middle. Place in a loaf pan or other baking pan so they stay right side up. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, heat a pan on medium high with a small drizzle of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the black beans, corn, brown rice, taco seasoning, and salsa. Stir together. When the peppers are finished, spoon the bean and rice combination into each pepper and fill to the brim. Sprinkle a Tablespoon of cheese on top of each pepper. Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove and let cool for a minute. Top with a small dollop of plain Greek yogurt and add sliced avocado, and tomato on the side if desired. Enjoy!
To save time, I used Trader Joe’s individual packet of frozen brown rice. Stick it in the microwave for 3 minutes, and it’s ready to go. For the salsa, I used Medium but it depends on your level of spiciness. The Medium salsa combined with the homemade taco seasoning made for a perfectly spicy meal. For the corn, I used Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn. It brings a great smoky flavor.
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