Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spinach and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Thanks to Whole Foods for this delicious comfort food dish. Serves 4 to 6.


4 large yellow, red or orange bell peppers, halved
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 slices of bacon
1 large onion, diced
3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup raw)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
3 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
Mist of extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray olive oil lightly on the bottom of a baking dish or large stainless steel pan. Size will vary depending on the size of the bell pepper.

2. Halve bell peppers. Remove seeds. If necessary, trim off a sliver of the bottom to make sure they sit level. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Spray lightly with olive oil. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake until the peppers are just this side of tender when pierced with a fork. From 20 to 35 minutes.

3. While peppers roast, fry bacon in a large skilled over medium heath until brown and crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

4. Saute' onions in bacon grease until they release their juices and look transparent - about 15 minutes. Add spinach and continue to saute' until hot and any excess liquid from thawing has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl, stir in drained bacon bits, shredded cheese, pepper and Tony's Creole Seasoning to taste.

5. Spoon mixture into the bell pepper halves - about 1/2 cup each. Sprinkle the tops bread crumbs and mist lightly with olive oil.

6. Bake uncovered until peppers are soft and bread crumbs brown, about 30 minutes.

 Chef's Notes: 1) A light misting of olive oil in the pan and on the peppers before roasting helps to soften them. Lightly. Lightly.

Misto Olive Oil Mister

2) For more texture and flavor, add one cup of chopped shitake or other mushrooms after the onions have been sauteed and before the spinach. Glaze well with pan drippings and saute' for about 5 minutes. Then continue stir-frying with spinach.

Bon appetit!

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