Taco Stuffed Peppers
Today was the longest commute of my life, or so it felt anyway. While it normally takes me under an hour to get home, today it took me nearly one hour and forty-five minutes from door to door. As you can imagine, at this witching hour I was totally famished while walking the four blocks home from my subway stop. I fantasized about what we could possibly have for dinner. Considering that the only stores between the subway stop and home are Duane Read and Rite Aid, and let's just say that their food selections aren't overly abundant, it takes some creative thinking to make something delicious from these limited resources.
My plan was to whip up some stuffed peppers. But, stuffed peppers need to be stuffed with something (naturally). We own a handy-dandy rice cooker that makes beautifully fluffy rice, but today I could not afford the luxury of a 30 minute rice cooking cycle. I needed some 90 second microwaveable rice in my life! I picked up a package of some multigrain rice/quinoa mix that was quick-cooking from Rite Aid for an absurdly overpriced amount (too embarrassed to report here), and nearly sprinted home to get. food. in. my. belly.
Thankfully my plan ended up being pretty quick, and extremely tasty. This will definitely be a repeat recipe because of its simplicity, wholesome healthiness, and yumminess! Here's how it went down:
I wanted the peppers to get a little soft in the oven before I stuffed them, so first I cut them in half, removed the seeds, placed the halves on a cookie sheet cut side up, and popped them in the oven while I prepped the filling (Note: you could also just slice off the tops and then later fill the peppers like a cup). Next, I chopped up some zucchini and carrots very small, and sauteed them quickly in some olive oil. I added the quick rice to the vegetables and mixed everything together, then threw in about a half a packet of taco seasoning and a few drops of water to help steam the rice a bit. Once the seasoning was evenly distributed throughout the rice and veges, I removed the pepper halves from the oven and filled them each with equal parts of the filling. Then I sprinkled the tops with Daiya mozzarella (you could use taco cheese or pepper jack instead if you have it on hand) and put the cookie sheet back in the oven for another 10 minutes of baking. They are finished when the cheese is melted and the peppers have softened slightly. You can cook them longer if you have the time and want a softer pepper, but I was not waiting any longer for these babies! I topped with some mild salsa and placed them on a bed of fresh spinach. Healthy, fast, and most of all, TASTY.
2 whole bell peppers1 packet microwaveable rice of your choice
Mixed veges, chopped very small
Taco seasoning packet
Dairy-free shredded cheese (I used Daiya)
Salsa and spinach to serve (optional)