“This is a nice meal idea on a cold day. You can use any color peppers. Using one of each color looks the nicest but many people prefer red for the taste. It doesn’t take too much time to prepare and I like that you can pop it in the oven awhile before eating. After the hurried production of a dinner, it’s nice to sip some wine and watch TV while waiting for the oven timer. Variation: You can omit the rice in the stuffing and serve it on the side instead.”
- 3bell peppers
- 1(12 ounce) package tofu, sliced into small chunks (or cooked ground beef)
- 1(12 ounce) package mushrooms, sliced (browner the better)
- 1cup stewed tomatoes (in their sauce,you can also used diced tomatoes)
- 1⁄2cup corn
- 1⁄2cup pine nuts
- 1small onion
- 2garlic cloves
- 1cup cooked basmati rice
- 11 cup mozzarella cheese (as you wish) or 1 cup cheddar cheese (as you wish)
- 2teaspoons cumin powder
- 1teaspoon chili powder (Pili-Pili)
- 2teaspoons cumin seeds
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F).
- Slice your peppers in half, cutting straight down through the stem. In other words, the peppers will then lay on their sides, not on their bottoms. Scoop out the seeds and any white bits inside the pepper so that you have a nice open dish to add the filling.
- Before starting the filling, it’s a good time to start boiling water and let the rice cook while you are doing the next step.
- In a deep frying pan, sauté the pine nuts, onion and garlic on medium heat until semi-soft (the pine nuts should brown slightly).
- While they are sautéing, you can toast your cumin seeds. This is not a strictly necessary step but it adds a warm smoky taste to the dish that is unbeatable and it’s very simple to do. Place a small saucepan or frying pan on a very hot burner. Pour the seeds in and shake the pan around as they toast. This needs less than a minute if your burner is hot. They will quickly darken and pop. As soon as this starts to happen, remove them from the heat.
- Now add the chopped mushrooms and tofu (if using) along with your spices, including the cumin seeds. If you’re using ground beef, you might cook it separately and add it to the sauce at the end. Once the mushrooms are fairly soft (about 5 minutes), add in the tomatoes, corn, cooked rice, cumin seeds, and other spices. Stir this mixture together until well combined and let it cook a few minutes more.
- Pour a small coating of water into the bottom of your baking dish (a dish large enough to hold 6 pepper halves). Place the peppers inside the dish and pour the filling into each of them, rounding it off a bit at the top. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the foil, raise the heat slightly, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until the tops start to brown and the peppers start to wither. You can place shredded cheese on in the last 5 minutes.