Friday, June 7, 2013

Mexican Stuffed Peppers!

      Stuffed peppers is one of my favorite meals to make. You can make them as simple as you'd like or as fancy as you'd like. These mexican flavored stuffed peppers turned out fantastic! As always, use the ingredients you already have in your house and feel free to try substitutes! That's how I always cook!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

1 pound ground chicken (you can use turkey or beef here as well)
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 or 4 bell peppers (I happened to buy red because they were on sale)
1 can pinto, red, kidney, white or black beans would all work for this recipe. I used pinto this time. Also you can use dry beans, which is what I used, you just have to cook them first.
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
Cheddar cheese for topping

Spices needed:
Dried or fresh cilantro
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Black Pepper

-Preheat the oven to 350
-Start browning your chicken in a large skillet. Be sure to add a little bit of oil to the pan, as ground chicken does not have much fat to brown in. Chop up half an onion and add that to the browning chicken. I'm really bad about measuring spices, so I just start with a little and add more as needed. So add some cilantro, a little bit of garlic powder (careful to not add too much), salt, pepper, and a good amount of cumin to the chicken- that's what gives it that nice southern flavor.

-If you are cooking beans, be sure to start those early (they usually take about 1 1/2 hours cook time after a soak.
-Start cooking your Quinoa according to the package directions. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a really awesome grain that you should try using in place of rice! It's very good for you.

-Meanwhile, make your sauce in a separate bowl. Combine the can of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add cilantro, a small amount of garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and chili powder. Mix!

-Once the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink), drain the liquid from it and put it back on the stove on low heat. Add in the sauce and beans. Mix it all together and keep it warm.
- Wash the peppers and cut them in half. Line them face up in a tinfoil covered baking dish.
- Once the quinoa is done, put a little bit in the bottom of the peppers. If you wanted to you could just mix the quinoa in right along with the meat/beans mix.

- Then fill the peppers with the meat and beans mixture.

-And lastly because we're American, top with some cheddar cheese!

-Pop them in the oven until cheese is melty and bubbly! (Mine took about 15 minutes) Enjoy! 

You could easily make these peppers vegetarian by cutting out the meat (which I have made stuffed peppers with just quinoa and beans, and they were still delicious!). Happy cooking! 

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