cheesy wild rice stuffed peppers
Hello! How was your weekend? Let me catch you up on mine.
1) Elliott’s surgery went well, and thank you all for the well wishes! Unfortunately/fortunately he wasn’t given all that much laughing gas so there were no YouTube-worthy videos and he recovered quickly, but he did look like a cute chipmunk for a couple of days.
2) My mom and dad came into town this weekend to help me take care of Avery so I could take care of Elliott, which basically turned into Elliott and my dad doing handiwork around the house and my mom and I cooking in the kitchen ← so cliche, but still so fun. We also ate comfort food from this local holy grail of comfort food goodness and then cheesecake for dessert and then this French toast the next morning with a frittata, so needless to say it was a delicious eating weekend.
3) These supah-cheesy wild rice stuffed peppers also made an appearance in our delicious eating weekend and daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang ← that translates to YUM, they were tasty.
I’m trying to pretend it’s not seriously approaching all-the-root-vegetables season by putting together dishes with all the non-root vegetables that I so love, which I know is totally unseasonable and non-food bloggerish and blah blah blah but look at that cheeeeeeeeese. Did I distract you from the fact that I used zucchini? I know cheese gets me every time.
Anywho, if you’re OK with breaking the seasonality rules every once in a while in an effort to get mo’ veggies in yo’ diet (as I am), this recipe is for you. These peppers are stuffed to the gills with wild rice, bell peppers, onions, sliced mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, garlic and Parmesan cheese, so see? They’re not even that out of line. And I can totally see a little swaparoo of butternut squash or sweet potato for the less-seasonal veggies working wonders.
But what I really want to tell you is that I’m reallyreallyreally into the fact that this dish, while supah-cheesy, is also supah-healthy. Because I have been a bit of a dessert/biscuits and gravy fiend lately, these peppers gave my soul and my belly some nutritional healing. And now is when you recall that I also had cheesecake this weekend, to which I shall respond: Can’t stop, won’t stop. And everything in moderation.
But these peppers didn’t make me feel like I was moderating anything out of my diet, anyway. They were filling, hearty and satisfying even without any added meat or fat. And though my Midwestern heart loves me some cheese, I can totally see these still tasting delicious vegan-style without the cheese. Maybe add in some chopped nuts instead for protein and BAM — winner winner vegan dinner.
Truly I tell you, a stuffed pepper is the way to do this Monday right.
- 6 green, red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers, tops removed and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow or red onion, diced
- 1 cup diced bell peppers
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place peppers cut-side up in a baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake peppers 30 minutes until soft, but not falling apart.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add diced onion, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often, until onions are soft and mushrooms begin to brown.
- Add diced zucchini, yellow squash, cooked wild rice and diced tomatoes. Cook another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato paste, dried tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat. Stir in baby spinach and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly into peppers. Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Pour tomato sauce in bottom of baking dish.
- Bake peppers another 15 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted.