Tonight was the night that I needed to use the green peppers I’d bought to make stuffed peppers. I’d had them for a week. Their time had come. I had put it off because I believed it would be time-consuming…but it wasn’t! This was a relatively quick and extremely easy dish.
I wanted a rice mixture to use, and rice to have for a couple days, so that was first. Nobody likes boring, plain brown rice (do they?)…so I typically add a little wild rice & quinoa to the mix.
I always add a little salt & EVOO to my rice.
The cook time for these grains are all about the same, so it works. If you don’t think you have TIME to cook brown rice, think again! You can have this healthy item prepared in about 20 minutes from the time your water boils!
Another purchase that needed doin’ up was the eggplant. I buy eggplant to make eggplant chips. When I first made kale chips, I got a little jiggy & experimented with a couple other veggies to see what would crisp up with a hot oven and still be delicious. Eggplant was a household fav with Honey and I.
My eggplant was looking like it had seen better days.
But it looked perfect on the inside! Cutting the rounds thin is key to making the eggplant crispy. We’re making this first because we want to snack a little while the peppers are baking. 😀
The first thing we need to do is foil our baking tray & coat it with EVOO. I do this with my silicone brush. Someday I’ll have all my kitchen utensils in silicone. They are expensive, but amazing in the kitchen…no worries about them melting!
I sprinkle the pan with a little sea salt & ground pepper to season the bottom of the slices. I think spices are pretty. 🙂
Down go the eggplant slices and the same thing happens to the top-side: EVOO, salt, pepper…and shredded parmesan! My silicone brush comes in handy once again to “paint” the tops with EVOO.
Buying a small eggplant is something I always remember right about now…a medium-sized eggplant makes 2 trays of snacks!
These guys get put in a hot oven while I focus on the peppers.
First things first: prep the peppers. But can we take just a moment to appreciate the beautiful food we’re about to eat? OooooOoooo~Ahhhhhhh.
I made a last-minute decision to make stuffed pepper HALVES, instead of stuffing the peppers upright, but my intent was the same: to save the tops to use in the stuffing. If you cut the pepper around the top, you can just pop the top of the pepper right off, then gently pull the seed ball out, and not have much work to do with the knife.
I want to stop here for two reasons…two very important, mega-essential kitchen things.
1. The washcloth.
I use old washcloths in the kitchen to wipe my knives, cutting boards, and other surfaces while I cook. We also use them as our napkins, unless we have guests. Then sometimes we bring out the paper towels. 😉 Not having to look far for something to wipe with is nice when you’re on a mission to get some food ready!
2. Holding a knife.
Okay, who would get anything from this pic. Nobody! Having SHARP knives & holding them correctly is the second most mega-essential kitchen thing that makes every meal easier. There is NOTHING like taking forever to cut veggies…sharp knives and proper knife techniques help with this.
Here is a GREAT YouTube video…only 1 1/2 minutes long, on how to hold a knife. Even when I am doing fine detail work, like cutting seeds from the inside of tonight’s peppers, I hold the knife this way.
Okay! On with the peppers.
I’ve made stuffed peppers once, maybe twice before. I did not toast the skins last time…but I decided to tonight. Most times this is done to remove the skins, but I just hoped it would add a smoky flavor to our dish. I lined our pretty guys up, skin up, and put them under the broiler.
Now, it’s time to prep the rest of our stuffing. We’re eating vegetarian tonight, and shrooms sounded really comfy and tasty as the “meat” of the dish. If you think substituting a mushroom for meat is strange, order a portabella burger next time you see it on a menu! 😉
Onions, the tops of our green peppers, mushrooms & bok choy were our veggies for tonight. Everything got sauteed together.
And everything got a small dose of the following..
That’s sea salt in the jar, and YES that says fish sauce and don’t make that face! It added spice… and depth…seriously. It’s SUCH an interesting thing to have available. Anyway.
Just about now your eggplant chips should be ready. Take ’em out and start snacking!
Well, I just have to take another moment to appreciate all this delicious food I’m about to eat! Aside from the mess I’m making on the stove, I’m pretty excited about this.
Okay, enough diddle-daddling. Let’s stuff our peppers. Spray a baking tray and arrange your peppers, bowl-side up.
Spoon some rice mix in and top with just a pinch of cheese.
Now, distribute your sauteed veggies. I was stoked that I seemed to have made just the right amount! 😀
One last topping with cheese and it’s ready for the oven.
Smelling these baking would not have been surviviable (dramatic back of hand to forehead) witout the eggplant chips.
Close-up of our yummy dish fresh out of the oven!
And another look at it from afar…MMM!!! Enjoy!
Ingredients for rice mix:
– 2 c brown rice
– 1 c wild rice
– 1 c quinoa
– 1 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tsp salt
- Put brown rice, wild rice & quinoa into a large pot & add water in 2:1 ratio. For 4 c of rice/quinoa tonight, we used 8 c water.
- Turn heat on high.
- Add salt & EVOO. Give everything a stir
- Put a lid on your pot to help the water boil faster.
- Once your water is boiling (check it now and then), continue to boil on high for 2 minutes.
- Stir & turn heat on low.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes & stir a couple times when you remember to.
- At 15 min, remove lid and continue to cook until all the water is absorbed. This time will vary, so stir often and turn your heat off the moment there is no more standing water in the bottom of your pan! If your rice looks too “wet”, just let it sit for a little bit and that water will be gone. Once I take the lid off, I will set my timer in 1-2 min bursts so I don’t forget about my rice.
- Rice is ready! Use as you like!
Ingredients for Eggplant Chips:
– 1 eggplant
– 1/4 c EVOO
– sea salt
– ground pepper
– shredded parmesan
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Line baking tray (you may need more than 1!) with aluminum foil and coat lightly with EVOO. Use real EVOO here if you can, and not a silicone spray.
- Sprinkle salt & pepper around on the tray.
- Slice eggplant into thin rounds (about 1/8-1/4 in).
- Arrange eggplant on tray & use brush (or fingers) to spread EVOO onto the tops of the eggplant rounds.
- Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper & shredded parmesan.
- Put into hot oven for 20 minutes & bake.
- Enjoy hot out of the oven!
Ingredients for Stuffed Peppers:
– 4 peppers (any large enough pepper would do, but I used bell peppers).
– half an onion
– 2 stalks bok choy
– tops of the peppers you are stuffing
– two handfulls of mushrooms
– 1 tbsp EVOO
– 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional!)
– 1 tsp chili powder
– sea salt
– black pepper
– 1 c shredded cheese (any type would work…we used low-fat mozzerela & the GV “fiesta” blend)
– fresh cilantro
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Prep your peppers by cutting the tops off (slicing around the top), cutting the pepper in half & removing seeds & veins.
- Arrange on baking tray with skin up & broil on high for about 6 minutes. (This is optional!)
- Remove from broiler & transfer peppers to a baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
- Heat 1 tbsp EVOO on low-medium in large skillet.
- Cut onion & add to skillet once oil is hot.
- Cut your pepper tops & add those next.
- Wipe mushrooms clean with paper towel, pull the stems out, and slice. Toss into skillet.
- Cut bok choy & add to skillet.
- Saute veggies for about 5 more minutes, stirring often, then turn heat off.
- Spoon a bit of rice into your peppers.
- Sprinkle a pinch of shredded mozzerela onto this.
- Fill your pepper the rest of the way with veggie stuffing.
- Sprinkle cheese to cover top of the pepper.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
- Serve & enjoy!