Opicky Wan is gone for the next week (to Costa Rica, lucky child) so I can experiment without hearing “I don’t like it” before a bite is ever taken.
Today I started with this Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe at Allrecipes.com I’ve found that having the need to cook GF has made me more willing to deviate from a recipe, although this one is naturally GF. What I did follows —
I used the ingredients shown above (plus an onion which I forgot in the picture).
I pre-cooked a batch of rice in my rice cooker and guesstimated that the 1/2 cup of uncooked rice might equal 2 cups cooked. I used Jasmine rice because I have a huge bag from Costco to use up. Brown rice or wild rice would also be good.
The recipe calls for 8 ounces of Textured Vegetable Protein, but doesn’t make any mention of soaking it. My TVP is dehydrated so again I guesstimated and used 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill TVP and covered it with water to soak
The recipe calls for 4 bell peppers with the tops cut off. I only did 2 peppers since there were only Guy and me eating today. I also cut the peppers vertically since one of them didn’t want to stand up. The recipe says to chop what is cut off the top, but since I didn’t have that, I chopped up about a quarter of another bell pepper.
Combine the olive oil (I only used enough to coat the pan, probably about 1 Tablespoon), chopped onion and green pepper in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the onion and pepper are soft.
Once the onions were soft, I added two cloves of minced garlic (or I should say I put them through a garlic press), and cooked for a couple of minutes.
Next I added about 2 Tablespoons of chopped cilantro and the soaked TVP.
I also added 1/4 teaspoon each of Oregano, Thyme and Cumin.
Cook for about 5 minutes on low heat.
Add the rice and about 12 ounces of tomato sauce (aka 1-1/2 8 ounce cans).
Once that was combined, I chose to stir in most of the cheese (I did end up adding a little Cheddar to the mozzarella for color), reserve a little cheese to add to the top later.
Spoon the mixture into the Bell Peppers.
Add the remaining half can of tomato sauce to the top.
I mentioned I only did two peppers, so I had left over filling. Based on the reviews at Allrecipes.com the filling can be frozen and used later. Mine just went into the refrigerator for the moment.
Cover the peppers with foil (I tried to “tent” it so it wasn’t directly on top of the filling) and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and add remaining cheese.
Bake until the cheese is melted.
Guy and I both really liked these. The reviews said the peppers didn’t hold up well as leftovers. I’ll find out tomorrow. Even with just the two peppers it was very filling and I’ll be taking some to work for lunch.