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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are a quick and easy way to provide a healthy meal with a flare.  There are hundreds of combinations to try and we are going to show you some of the simple concepts to make your stuffed peppers stand above the crowd.  

Cooking the rice:

Generally the ratio will be one part rice and two parts water.  I like to add all the ingredients to the pot in order to make it a one step process.  There is really no reason to take extra steps and dirty up a bunch of other pots.
You can first sauté some onions, to a dark brown flavor, which is really great for stuffed peppers. Then add any flavors or seasonings like beef-less base, salt, seasonings, or herbs.  Add all kinds of items like, chopped celery, or shredded carrots.  Try some tofu, or beans, and for a really great texture. Add some pecans or walnuts.

Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a low simmer for 40 minutes.  Rice cookers work well for this too.  Add more time for harder varieties of rice, like brown rice, lower cooking time for soft or short varieties like jasmine.  
Mixing in Sauces:  
When the rice is done, now you can add whatever sauce flavors you like. Teriyaki, or tomato sauce, even Italian are a couple of my favorites.  
Stuffing the Peppers:
Try not to over stuff the peppers, you want them full but not packed; the rice will expand a little. One of my favorite tricks is to add little shots of the sauce when stuffing the peppers, or have a center with an apricot surprise in the middle.  This helps to keep moisture in and gives the final product an original twist.  
Baking the Peppers:  
The best way to bake the peppers is for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  I start with them covered, but don’t cook the tops with them.  When the steam has softened the body of the peppers, then it is time to remove the foil, add the pepper lids, and cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.  This will give it a consistently cooked, slightly browned appeal.  You can also top the peppers with some seasoned bread crumbs before browning.  
Serving the Peppers:
Adding some vegan parmesan cheese, fresh diced herbs, or slivered almonds will compliment any peppers right into that higher delicacy.  
The bottom line is have fun stuffing peppers, you really can’t mess this up.  Next time try stuffing the peppers with bread stuffing, pastas, or beans.  It’s a great way to make a fast, easy, and very affordable meal.

Recipe is courtesy of Mark Anthony who has a Ministry of Healing through healthy food presentations at churches throughout North America.

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