Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers & KitchenIQ Giveaway!

From www.foodfanatic.com, by Julia Mueller
Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers & KitchenIQ Giveaway!

This post is part of sponsored recipe development on behalf of KitchenIQ. The contributor was provided with product for review, all opinions are her own. The giveaway is provided to you by KitchenIQ.

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers Photo

Having grown up on the west side of the country, Southwestern-style cuisine has been a staple in my life for as long as I can remember. Inspired by Mexican fare, Southwestern food is all about the beans, rice, corn, bell peppers, and chilies. I love that any meal can be made with some Southwest style, and it can be as light or as filling as you’d like. 

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers Pic

These stuffed bell peppers are an excellent representation of Southwestern cuisine and fall somewhere in the middle between fresh and light and rich and comforting. They’re filling, without being over-the-top indulgent, yet taste fresh, are filled with health benefits, and won’t put you in a food coma. Plus, they’re easy to prepare and make excellent leftovers!

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers 4

Prior to learning about the Kitchen IQ Pepper Tool, I found myself tiptoeing around the bell pepper when it came down to stuffing them. Removing the stem and core of bell peppers can be difficult with a paring knife. I would often pierce or tear the skin, making them difficult to hold together after stuffing, or I would lose patience and simply cut the entire top off. In stuffed applications, bell peppers turn out best when part of the top is left on and only the stem and core is removed. This way, both the ingredients on the inside and the bell pepper steam and cook better, resulting in an out-of-this-world flavor meld.

In one fell swoop, the Kitchen IQ Pepper Tool removes the stem and the insides of the pepper quickly, making the stuffing process an absolute cinch. Simply insert the tool around the stem, turn in a complete circle, then pull. Out comes the stem and the core!

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers 3

Be sure to select large, round bell peppers that are flat at the bottom, rather than tapered. This way, the bell peppers can stand up on their own through the baking process, allowing them to bake evenly. In addition, cooking the peppers in a bath of sauce allows them to cook more evenly. You can use regular tomato sauce, or do as I did and use enchilada sauce for some additional spice and flavor.

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers Image

There are plenty of options for substitutions when it comes to this vegetarian recipe. First, the black beans can be replaced with garbanzo or pinto beans (or any bean of choice), you can add chopped canned chilies for additional spice, use any type of cheese for topping them, serve with guacamole, the list goes on and on. To make this meal more substantial, you can even add ground turkey, chicken, or beef. Simply brown 1/2 pound of your meat of choice and drain the juices before adding it to the rest of the rice mixture. 

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers 5

Prior to baking the stuffed peppers, I added shredded jack cheese on top, and once out of the oven, I served them with queso fresco. Because if there’s one thing that’s better than cheese, it’s two cheeses, am I right? Make these as an appetizer, side dish, or main course - they’re sure to please just about any crowd and can be made in advance and reheated easily.

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers Picture

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Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, cored
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 anaheim pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed (canned)
  • 1 cup corn, drained (canned)
  • 1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3-1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or yellow cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat to 350°F.
  2. Wash, dry, and core the bell peppers using a pepper corer.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high. Add the yellow onion and sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Anaheim pepper, and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, and salt, and sauté until garlic is fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, the cooked rice, corn, and black beans. Stir well and cook just until well combined and rice has absorbed most of the enchilada sauce, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Stuff each pepper with the rice and vegetable mixture, filling each cavity to the top. Top each pepper with grated cheese and place peppers in an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. The peppers should fit nice and snug in the baking dish and should hold each other up.
  6. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce and the water around the peppers, so that they’re sitting in a sauce bath. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until cheese has melted and the tops of the peppers have softened.
  7. Remove peppers from the oven and allow them to cool 10 minutes before serving. 

Notes

  • Peppers can be served in halves by placing them upright on a cutting board and chopping them in half using a sharp knife.

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KitchenIQ Pepper Tool

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