Prep 10 mins + cooking of rice Cook 1:10 Eat 1:20
I love the word Mamacita – an endearing and loving name for a mommy or even a friend by Hispanics. I would love to be called Mamacita and especially when serving these Mamacita’s Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers filled with Latin ingredients like black or pinto beans, chile powder, cumin and authentic Mexican cheese. You could use a four-cheese blend or a single variety such as manchego, cheddar or monterey jack. The best time to make this dish is when you have leftover rice or rice that you have prepared in advance to speed things along. Here’s a recipe for making rice in a microwave oven.
When I was a child, my Italian mother would always serve stuffed green peppers in the fall and winter. She stuffed them with ground beef, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. But I decided to go veggie with these peppers and stuff them with ingredients that a Mamacita would use and make them spicy and full of cheesy goodness. We made these at our Autumn Harvest cooking class last year and they were a big hit. They were so easy to make for our group of 16 people. Make extra for your family and you will have what I call a “repeat dinner” with no extra effort. The stuffing is so good, that we enjoyed sampling the leftover right out of the pan.
Begin to cook the rice as soon as you walk in the door unless you have made it in advance. Then dice the onion and get it cooking in a skillet over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, then the drained and rinsed black beans, diced tomatoes along with the spices and the rice once it is ready.
Once it is warm, remove from the heat and set aside. Taste it for seasoning, but be careful not to devour the filling before you stuff your peppers.
Shop for a variety of red, yellow and green peppers to make your dish festive, just like Mamacita would like.
Slice around the stem of the pepper and remove it. You can use a spoon or melon baller to remove more of the seed pod if necessary. Rinse them out to remove any stray seeds.
Set peppers with open cavity side up in a baking pan small enough to keep the peppers propped up.
Assemble the peppers by mixing most of the shredded cheese into the stuffing mixture. Save some to top each pepper. Then stuff each pepper, pressing the filling into the pepper. Top each pepper with some shredded cheese and place in a 350° oven.
Now go relax, while your dinner is cooking and making your house smell amazing. After 30 minutes, rotate the peppers in the pan and bake for another 30 minutes. I hope you’ve made extra, because you are going to want some leftovers of this one!
The perfect meal for an easy dinner while enjoying the warmth of your home this autumn and winter.
Mamacita’s Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
2 cups cooked long grain rice or 3/4 cup raw rice, cooked Click for recipe for cooking rice in a microwave oven.
4 large green, red or yellow bell peppers
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large pinch cayenne pepper
6 ounces manchego or cheddar cheese or monterey jack, shredded
1. Begin to cook rice according to the package if not already prepared in advance. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Prep vegetables: dice onion, mince garlic, remove core and seeds from each pepper, keeping the pepper whole. Rinse seeds out of center if necessary. Set peppers with open cavity side up in an 8 x 8 x 2″ high baking pan, so that they are close together and propping each other up. Shred cheese and set aside.
3. Heat canola oil in skillet over medium-low heat and cook diced onion until transparent, about 5 minutes, add minced garlic and give a stir. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, cooked rice, chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne and give a stir. Cook for a few minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat.
4. Assemble stuffed peppers: Mix most of the cheese into the filling. Save some to top each pepper. Spoon the bean and rice filling, pressing it into the pepper to fill in the entire cavity. Top each pepper with some of the cheese.
5. Bake the stuffed peppers in a 350° oven until the peppers are soft and have browned slightly, about 60 minutes. After 30 minutes, take them out and rotate peppers so inside edges are moved to the outside of the pan. Return to the oven and bake for additional 30 minutes or until peppers are done.
Servings: 4 – 517 calories per serving