Halloween Stuffed Peppers
You’ve seen them on Pinterest, Facebook or someplace else. Those cute stuffed peppers with a carved face, just like a little Jack O’ Lantern. Now, you’re going to see them here, too. Except, this “food with a face” you can eat! A totally vegetarian version of stuffing goes in these babies. And might I just add, a really, really tasty stuffing. I stuffed more of it in me than I did the peppers.
On to the particulars.
Gather the cast and crew.
For mini Jack O’ Lanterns, you will want to use the orange peppers. You’ll notice that a lighter one has snuck into the line up. He just doesn’t spend as much time in the tanning booth as the others.
I’m going to share one of my culinary secrets. I use frozen microwave brown rice. You’re shocked, I can tell. It’s ok, we all have our little short cuts. This is mine. Most recipes call for two cups of cooked rice and guess what? That little bag has two cups in it. Destiny, right? The ingredients are – brown rice, water. Works for me! So, pop that bag in the microwave and cook it. Set it aside to cool down while you clean the peppers.
Carefully cut the tops off the peppers and remove seeds.
Get out your carving tools, mine was a tiny paring knife, and carve little faces into the pepper sides. Don’t hate the yellow guy.
Get out a large mixing bowl. Dump the cooled rice into it. Add in the drained and rinsed black beans.
In a dry sautee pan, over medium heat, toast your chopped walnuts.
Don’t wander off. Stay put and give these a stir after a minute. When you smell them, remove from heat and pour into the mixing bowl. Wipe out the pan, add the olive oil and the diced carrots. Saute for about 3 minutes, then add in the diced zucchini.
Cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the mixing bowl. Add in the chopped parsley, the crumbled goat cheese and the Italian dressing. Salt and pepper to your liking.
Spoon the stuffing into the peppers. Fill them up and pack it in. Arrange peppers in the baking dish.
Keep the tops off for the first part of baking. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place tops on peppers and return to oven. Bake another 30 minutes or until done.
The toasty walnuts, the creaminess of the goat cheese and the crunch of the pepper. Oh my.
Brown Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Serves: 4 Prep time: 20 min Bake time: 50 min
- 4 bell peppers – for Halloween, use all orange color
- 1 pkg of microwave brown rice, cooked according to package instructions, set aside to cool.
- 1 can black beans, 15 oz or so. Rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup of zucchini, diced.
- 3/4 cup carrot, diced.
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup Italian oil and vinegar type dressing
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray or grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.C
Carefully cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. For Halloween, carve cute faces into pepper wall. Set aside.
Pour cooled rice in a large mixing bowl. Add in the rinsed and drained black beans.
In a dry sautee pan, over medium heat, toast chopped walnuts. It only takes a few minutes. Remove from pan and add to bowl mixture.
Wipe out pan. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add in the diced carrots and sautee 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the diced zucchini. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add to bowl mixture.
To the mixture in the large bowl, add the crumbled goat cheese, the chopped parsley, and the Italian dressing. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Using a spoon or scoop, stuff the peppers full of the mixture.
Place the stuffed peppers in the baking dish. Keep the top part of the pepper off. Bake stuffed peppers at 350º for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place pepper caps on top and return to oven. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until done. Peppers will sag and the tops will be browned when done.