Stuffed Peppers for a busy you!

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Today our contributing writer Jodi Robinson shares a quick dinner recipe.

Stuffed Peppers are a fantastic make-ahead option for busy families. Make a batch on a day off work and store in fridge for meals that week. The flavours tend to set and get better after a day or so. Be sure to reheat thoroughly and keep no longer than 3-4 days in the fridge.

Prep-time: 45-minutes

Number of servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6 medium peppers (coloured and/or green)
  • 1 cup brown rice or quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup minced mushrooms
  • 1, 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • ½ cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper (freshly ground pepper is best)

Directions

·       Cut the tops off each of the peppers and pull out the seeds, and centre ribs are removed so there is room to stuff! Chop up the pepper off sides of stems and put aside. If pepper does not stand on its own, make a small slice on the bottom to make it level, being sure not to create a hole in pepper.

·       If you like a crispier, firmer stuffed pepper, skip this step: Boil water in a large pot, cook peppers until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Do not overcook! Remove from water and rinse with cold water.

·       Combine quinoa or brown rice in a medium saucepan after rinsing. Add a small amount of oil and stir for about a minute until water evaporates and grain gets a little toasty! Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water absorbed.  Remove from heat and fluff with fork, keeping partially covered.

·       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

·       Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium/high heat to brown the beef for about 8 minutes, breaking up with a spoon, and until no longer pink; adding the Worcester sauce near the end. Remove from pan.

·       Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms and reserved chopped peppers. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Return beef and juices to pan.

·       Stir in diced tomatoes and remaining spices, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.

·       Remove from heat; stir in quinoa or rice.

·       Place peppers on parchment paper in a shallow baking dish or tray. Stuff mixture into peppers and top with shredded cheese. Bake approximately 15 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Lisa Adams, ND

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