Since peppers are in season it easy to buy a big bag of them, and make stuffed peppers. I found an excellent recipe for stuffed peppers at EatingWell.com, and modified it a little. They came out great! I made the peppers with provolone, turkey sausage, and Mrs. Dash chipotle pepper seasoning so that they had a more smoky flavor.
Nutrition Facts: Peppers are packed full of vitamin C and vitamin A (over 100% of the Daily Value), and are a good source of vitamin B6 (per 1 cup serving). Peppers contain the phytonutrients (aka chemicals that affect health) beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin (possibly beneficial to eyesight, lung health, heart health, cancer prevention).
*Just remember: wash your peppers very well, or buy organic peppers because they are on the top 12 list for produce with high levels of pesticides.
Smokin’ Stuffed Peppers
- 5-6 large bell peppers, tops cut off, seeded
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 TB. Mrs. Dash chipotle pepper seasoning
- 1 TB. dried peppers, chopped (see picture right)
- 15-16 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage links, removed from casings
- 1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1 cup instant brown rice
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup finely shredded smoked cheese, such as mozzarella, provolone or Gouda (best to use a mix of reduced fat mozzarella and provolone). Plus, 1/2 cup extra for topping.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place peppers cut-side down in a large microwave-safe dish. Fill the dish with 1/2 inch of water, cover and microwave on High until the peppers are just softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the peppers to a roasting pan with sides (so the peppers do not fall down).
- Meanwhile, soften onions in a large nonstick skillet. Add sausage while on medium-high heat, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with Mrs. Dash. Stir in broth, tomatoes, peas, dried peppers, and rice; increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is softened but still moist, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until the rice absorbs the remaining liquid, about 5 minutes.
- Stir basil and half the cheese into the rice mixture. Divide the filling among the peppers, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake about 5 to10 minutes, then broil until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes.