Do you have a favorite vegetable? Of course not, because they are all delish (except for cauliflower and lima beans, naturally). Now, while I could never pick just one, I do know that I love bell peppers.
Recently I was talking with a friend who said she didn’t like peppers. I felt like I was punched in the gut! How can you not love this diverse vegetable?
The bell pepper is a sassy vegetable! It’s colorful, flamboyant, flavorful, healthy, and strong. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, peppers are a lot like the Olympics only you don’t have to wait until NBC deems them ready for you to enjoy (zing!).
Here are a few fun facts about me and peppers:
1. My husband and I buy anywhere from 4-8 bell peppers a week and it’s rare we have leftovers into the next week.
2. I like yellow peppers best raw
3. “Peppers” are technically a misnomer, incorrectly established by Christopher Columbus. Seriously, did he get anything right?
4. I love red peppers best grilled
5. I only like cooked green peppers, I don’t like them raw, despite the various flavors of hummus you try and tempt me with.
6. Speaking of, my favorite dip for bell peppers is black bean hummus
I eat peppers raw as much as I do cooked. I love adding them to salads or eating them straight up with a good dip. I love sautéing them with other veggies, or eating them with pasta or meat. During the summer I enjoy sautéed peppers and red onion with kielba$a (the most gangster of the polish sausages). During the winter I love to roast them with other veggies for a delicious and warm meal. I think I love how much color they add to food as much as I do their taste. They make meals so beautiful! They are to meals what sunsets are to days, what Shakspeare is to words, what Chick-Fil-A is to controversy.
(“I knew it”, you whisper with an accompanying eye roll. “I knew she would blog about Chick-Fil-A at some point this week”.)
In honor of this veggie love, I thought I would share my favorite bell pepper recipe with you today. It might be more of a fall or winter meal, but all I dream about these days is cooler weather, so cooler weather food is on my radar:
Veggie Stuffed Peppers
This recipe originally came to me from my friend Andrea (who should start a food blog) and I have adapted it a bit over the years:
6 large or 8 medium green bell peppers
2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 cup milk or heavy whipping cream (soy milk does NOT work with this recipe)
2 cups finely chopped veggies (I use bell peppers of all colors, zucchini, squash, and red onion)
2 TBSP cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 -1 tsp pepper
Shredded mozzaralla cheese
Cut tops off and clean out peppers. Bake empty peppers in oven at 350 for 30 minutes to soften (no need to grease pan). You can do this while your rice is cooking.
Mix Rice and Water and cook until most of the water is absorbed. For brown rice, this is about 20-25 mins. Add milk, veggies, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until veggies are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. (This may take closer to 50 minutes. Be sure to take out the baking empty peppers after 30 minutes or they will get too soft).
Place a little cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Add rice mixture. Top with more cheese. If you want to go totally wild, put a pad of butter on top of each pepper and a sprinkling of bread crumbs for a crusty top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted or slightly browned (whatever your preference).
What about you? Are you a pepper lover or hater, or even worse, are you pepper indifferent?
Today, my friend Annie and I are having a little healthy competition (see what I did there?) to see if our readers are pepper lovers or haters. Please vote! Pepper lovers, comment here, pepper haters head over to Annie’s blog and see if you agree. And remember, a vote for peppers is a vote for sassy!