Sweet bell peppers stuffed with brown rice, beans, spices and veggies helps satisfy your need for spicy Tex Mex. Vegetarian + GF
The weekend was crazy packed with an errand day and a little rest and relaxation the next. However, I was conflicted. When I went to the farmers market this past weekend, I had great difficulty in focusing on my list which consisted only of squash and greens; several varieties. Yet there were other fresh and delicious veggies to be had. So. Many! I was utterly distracted.
Perhaps it was the rain tapping on the top of my raincoat, the giant pumpkin judging contest, the smells wafting from food venders, chatting with a neighbor, joy on people’s faces, tail waggin dogs… or thoughts of roasting pumpkins.
Then, as I stopped by one of the farmer’s stands, all of a sudden, the clouds opened up, the rain stopped and a ray of sunshine shown down on a huge basket of peppers! Do you hear me people? A basket of peppers, y’all!!
Green and vibrant, their wet skin glistened in the sunshine. I was in pepper heaven, because, y’all, Mexican food is my all time favorite food.
Then, out of nowhere, it hit me; Tex Mex stuffed peppers and, well, the other will be up next week (it’ll be worth the wait… promise)!
But just when clarity came, I became conflicted. Do I share a pepper or pumpkin recipe first? After all, it is October, everyone is craving pumpkin and it’s finally available, locally.
However, peppers will be out of season before we know it. So, after way too much internal dialog, I conceded. Peppers it is! Am I crazy?!
I also found some late season corn at a farm stand, some of which I froze, and a few zucchini from my prior week’s CSA share needed attention. It just so happens my Tex Mex stuffed peppers require all of these ingredients.
I wish all things in life were this easy. It was a natural progression after I hit the farmer’s market pepper bonanza!
I love Mexican food; one of the things I miss about Texas. We ate it regularly at two of our favorite restaurants; Chewy’s and On the Boarder. Have you been?
There was also a tiny, local, authentic Mexican food restaurant in Corpus Christi that we frequented. They had the best prickly pear cactus fajitas and I swear, the coldest beer. I miss that place.
Several of the components in this recipe can be prepped ahead, if needed. The poblanos and rice can be roasted/cooked up to two days ahead. If time is short, you can skip roasting the poblanos all-together.
Instead, dice the poblano and add it to the other sautéed veggies. While roasting imparts a smoky flavor, this can be skipped in a pinch.
Share stuffed peppers with an extra cold beer and pico de gallo.
Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers
- 1/2 C Long Grain Brown Rice
- 1 C Water
- 1/3 C Canned Fired Roasted Tomatoes including juice (freeze remaining amount for future use)
- 1 Poblano Pepper tops cut off, seeds removed and quartered *See Time Saver Note
- 4 Large Green Bell Peppers tops cut off and seeds removed
- 1 15 oz Can of Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 C Zucchini diced (about 1 small zucchini)
- 1 C Purple Onion diced (about 1/2 an onion)
- 1 C Corn fresh off the cob or frozen
- 1 Tbs Garlic minced (about 2 large cloves)
- 1/2 Tbs Coconut Oil virgin, unrefined, melted and cooled + Coconut Oil Pan Spray
- 1/2 C Monterey Jack Cheese grated (pepper jack if your feeling spicy!)
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Tbs Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 1/2 Hot or Sweet Smoked Paprika
- 1/3 C Cojita Cheese crumbled (or more Monterey Jack Cheese)
- Preheat oven to Broil.
- Add rice, water and fire roasted tomatoes to a 2 qt sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, reduce heat to low. Cook on low heat for about 22 minutes. Remove from heat and set covered until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, prep veggies, bells and poblano peppers. Reserve the tops of the bells for 'lids' in your final presentation. Otherwise chop them up and add them to the veggie mixture. In a large mixing bowl, add the drained and rinsed beans along with the spices. Set aside.
- To save time on this step, see note. Place cut poblano on a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan skin side up. Broil for about 2-4 minutes or until the poblano is blistered. The poblano can also be blistered on a gas stovetop, using tongs to place the pepper directly on the fire, turning as needed to blister all sides. Place in a covered bowl for about 15 minutes, then carefully peel off skin. Dice the poblano.
- Turn oven down to 350F. On a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan, roast the bell peppers (including the 'lids' if using) for 20-25 minutes or until slightly soft (no blistering here). Remove from oven to cool slightly.
- In a large skillet add 1 1/2 Tbs coconut oil. Saute' the zucchini, onion, and corn for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Stir every 4-5 minutes. Some blistering is good here. Add the minced garlic during the last 5 min.
- In the large bowl with the beans and spices, add the rice, sautéed veggies, diced poblanos 1/2 C monterey jack cheese. Stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Now is a good time to taste for any seasoning adjustments.
- Stuff the bell peppers using the rice mixture, gently packing each pepper.
- Spay a dutch oven or casserole dish with coconut oil spray and place the peppers gently in the dish. It's ok if they are touching. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and remove the foil. Sprinkle cojita (or monterey jack) over the tops of the peppers reserving some for final garnish if desired. Broil along with the 'lids' of bell peppers for 8 minutes.
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo, sliced avocado, lime, jalapeño and cilantro.
Recipe Notes*To save time on the poblanos, instead of roasting them in step 4, skip it. Instead, dice them up and saute with the zucchini and corn in step 6.
*Cook time is the amount of time to bake the stuffed peppers.
Inspired by my Ma's stuffed bell peppers.
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