Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

sweet mini peppers

A peck of pretty peppers

You’ve seen them in stores. Those brightly colored little sweet peppers. So colorful. Just crying out for you to buy them. We had been slicing and adding to our salads because they are loaded with vitamin C. That’s it. Nothing else.

I was flipping through an issue of Cooking Light magazine and BAM! There on page 62 was my salvation. Stuffed mini bell peppers! Stuff them!

stuffed mini sweets

Snack time!

Who’d have thunk it? Not me. Stuffing was for jalapeño poppers. But, lately, the jalapeños have been a little too hot for my tastes. So, I hustled out and got some of those sweet peppers and stuffed them. Such cheesy, creamy & crunchy goodness. No more scorching off my taste buds!

This recipe is so versatile. You can grill them, bake or broil them. Or if you just need a few, do like me and pop them into the toaster oven. Provided that you have a toaster oven.

Gather your ingredients.

ingredients for peppers

The ingredients.

Set the cream cheese so it will come to room temperature.

Get out a baking sheet and line it with foil. If you have one, place a cooling rack inside the pan. Those little pepper halves like to flip over on their sides. Then, all the yummy filling oozes out and we can’t have that.

pans foil

Foiled pans.

Cut the peppers in half and scoop out the little seed pod.

pepper halves

ready to stuff

Dice up the scallions and cilantro. Add them into a bowl, along with the cream cheese and sour cream. Squeeze half a lime over it and mix it up.

chesse pepper stuffing

Pepper stuffing

Using a small spoon, stuff the pepper halves with the cheese mix and place on the prepared pan.

stuffed mini peppers

Ready to bake

Now, you can grill them, broil them, or bake them. Your choice. Since I was making a small batch, I just used my toaster oven. I did remember to close the door after I took the picture.

peppers in toaster oven

Toasty goodness.

Recipe time!

baked stuffed mini peppers

Ready to eat.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
Brightly colored little sweet peppers, stuffed and baked to perfection.
  • 12 to 16 of sweet mini peppers
  • 4 oz low fat or neufchatel cream cheese – softened.
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced into rounds.
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of ½ lime
  1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with foil. Place a wire rack inside to help keep peppers stable.
  2. Slice the mini peppers in half and remove seeds.
  3. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, scallions and cilantro on a small bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over it. Mix until well combined.
  4. Divide cheese mixture among the pepper halves.
  5. Place filled peppers on prepared baking sheet.
  6. For crispy, crunchy peppers, broil for 5 minutes until browned.
  7. For a more tender pepper, bake at 350º for 20 minutes.
  8. These can be prepared in a toaster oven, set at the same temp, using the same times.
  9. Or, place on grill and cook till done.
  10. adapted from the May 2012 issue of Cooking Light.


Meatless Monday

Or – Vegetarians get no respect!

I need to channel my inner Rodney Dangerfield. We don’t get no respect, I tell ya, no respect. I just picked up this flyer from my local BJ’s Wholesale Club.

meatless is not meat less

You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

Meatless Meal Solutions. I thought – Great! Coupons I can use! Then, I gave the coupons a look. Salmon, Tilapia, Clams. Not items that you would find on a vegetarian’s table for meatless Monday, or any other day.

How many times have you spotted a Meatless Monday recipe only to find that it includes fish, shrimp, or even chicken? Meatless – how complicated can this one word be? Turns out, it’s complicated.

The Merriam – Webster online dictionary defines meat as – “animal tissue considered especially as food”. But, also as – “flesh of a mammal as opposed to fowl or fish”. They also define fish as – “an aquatic animal”. Under fowl we have – “a bird of any kind” and “meat of fowls used as food”.

Confused? Me, too. Animal tissue, flesh, meat. I’m fairly sure that none of those words fit in with the concept of “meatless”.

So, until we get this whole meatless thing defined, be careful what you buy or eat. What you think is meatless, might not be without meat after all.

Cheese. Betrayed by the cheese. And rennet.

I made a recipe that I got from Giada. It was listed as a vegetarian dish. Mine didn’t turn out quite like hers, so I went back to the site to read the reviews and see what I did wrong. A couple of reviews down, I saw this – “You do realise that parmesan cheese is not veggie-friendly in that it contains rennet! I suggest that you use a veggie alternative hard cheese if you really want to make it veggie-friendly.

Whoosh! Just like that, all the air went out of my lungs. Rennet. Cow’s stomach. That certainly isn’t vegetarian. I have messed up. Messed up big time. See, I use parmesan cheese. A lot. I’ve used it in my recipes that I have shared with you. My vegetarian recipes.

Please accept my apologies. I am still learning. I shall endeavor to do better in the future.

I have gone back over the recipes and changed the forbidden cheeses to vegetarian approved varieties. There is a rainbow. There are many cheeses that are made with microbial or vegetable rennets. I’ll list some, that are taken right from the manufacturer’s websites. You can also look for the kosher label. If it’s kosher, it’s good for us veg heads, too.

What kind of rennet is used to make Cabot cheeses?
Cabot uses a microbial-based enzyme to manufacture all of our award-winning cheeses with the exception of our Processed American Cheese slices. The microbial-based enzyme coagulates the milk into curds and whey. It is approved for vegetarians and also allows our cheeses to pass kosher certification. Our Processed American Cheese slices are sourced from plants that Cabot does not own, so we cannot guarantee that they are made with microbial enzymes. Cabot Cheese

Is Tillamook Cheese vegetarian-friendly? Most of our cheeses are made with a vegetable-based rennet that’s kosher-certified, halal-certified, and vegetarian-friendly. Three of our cheeses – Vintage White Medium Cheddar, Vintage White Sharp Cheddar, and Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar – are made with a traditional animal-based rennet . The traditional rennet helps develop the unique flavor in these three cheeses. Tillamook cheese

Is Organic Valley cheese made with animal or vegetarian rennet/enzymes?

Most cheese production uses the enzyme rennet to coagulate milk into curd. Organic Valley uses “microbial enzymes” for most all of their cheeses instead of animal rennet. Using microbial enzymes allows us to serve the strict needs of vegetarians. Microbial enzymes are produced by a controlled fermentation process.

We do use a lipase enzyme derived from animals in creating the flavor profile for our Blue Cheese Crumbles, Kickapoo Blue Cheese Wheel/Wedges and the Romano in our Italian Blend Shredded Cheese; and we use animal rennet in our 3 Vermont Cheddar cheeses for coagulation. Use of these enzymes derived from animals makes Blue Cheese Crumbles, Kickapoo Blue Cheese Wheel/Wedges, Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, and Medium, Sharp, and Extra-Sharp Vermont Cheddar our six non-vegetarian cheeses.                      Organic Valley Cheese

What is the source of the enzymes in your cheeses?

Rennets (enzymes) are added when making cheese to thicken the mixture to form the curds. These milk-clotting enzymes originate in microbial (synthetic) and animal sources. The manufacturing process of most varieties of cheese (all cured or ripened cheeses) involves enzyme coagulation.

Most Sargento shredded and sliced cheeses and all of our refrigerated natural cheese snacks are made with non-animal rennets. The only Sargento natural cheeses that may contain animal enzymes are those that contain Romano, Asiago, or Jarlsberg cheeses. Those include: Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan & Romano Cheese, Shredded 6 Cheese Italian Cheese, Shredded Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian Cheese, and Deli Style Sliced Jarlsberg Cheese. The cheese dip in our non-refrigerated MooTown Snacks, Cheese Dip & Cracker Sticks, Cheese Dip & Pretzel Sticks, and Cheese Dip & Crackers, is made with beef rennet.  Sargento cheese

Organic Valley says that many of their cheeses contain no animal rennet. You have to look at each variety to be sure.

A cheesy website with tons of rennet free cheeses listed!        

My lesson has been learned. I thought I was a conscientious  label reader. Turns out, I wasn’t. You can bet that I will be flipping over all my packages and reading the labels from now on!