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Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers & the Cheesy Zucchini Experiment:

August 28, 2011

We spent our Saturday afternoon at the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery enjoying great German brews, a free tour, pretzels with mustard and a rather embarrassing game of CornHole. So much fun. Just as we began to feel like real Germans, we headed to the pool with B’s family. We sat by the pool in beautiful, blue and breezy weather, thanks to Charlotte’s location on the outskirts of Hurricane Irene’s path. B’s nephews, who are adorable, swam like fish and showed off all of their pool tricks, belly flops included. As evening drove off the families one by one, we reluctantly left the pool and headed home.

^great German brews and pretzels

The only good thing about the day nearing its end was that dinner was on our horizon. And for dinner- Stuffed Bell Peppers! Yay! We found really huge bell peps at the farmer’s market, and we were excited to use them. We also had two zucchinis which we decided to “roast somehow.” So with the tunes pumping, the porch doors open and Jeff and Judd hanging out, the experiments began.

Veggie and Brown Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers:

4 large Bell Peppers

1 1/4  cups dry brown rice

1 cup of water

3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can black beans, drained

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper

shredded cheese for topping (we used cheddar and pepperjack..or faves)

Directions:

For the Filling: Sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes and some salt and pepper, when the tomatoes start to release juice and the onion is soft, turn heat to low. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot and add the rice and cumin. Follow directions on the box of rice for cooking times. About half way through the rice cooking time, add the onions and tomatoes to the pot. Keep on low heat until all of the liquid is gone. Remove the pot from heat and add the black beans.

For the Peppers:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. MICROWAVE for 4 or 5 minutes. You want to microwave so they begin to soften. Place the peppers in a greased baking dish and stuff them with the rice mixture. Top with shredded cheese (if you want..which you do) and bake for 30minutes.

**We made the filling in the morning and put it in the fridge for the day, or you can use it immediately.

Oh man these were great! I especially enjoyed the Mexican flavors in them. I never make stuffed peppers because they seem like such a process, but these were incredibly easy! I like that the recipe is relatively easy to tweak for more or less servings as well.

^due to failure to photograph (because we couldn’t resist them) last night, this is the leftovers, getting cozy together in one dish.

For the Cheesy Zucchini Experiment, I mixed the rest of the cream cheese (1/2cup)  from the Tomato Pie with some skim milk (about 3/4 cup) and a handful of shredded cheddar. I sliced the zucchini up and tossed them in a loaf pan then poured the creamy mixture over them and baked them for 30 minutes at 400F (same as the peppers^). Also YUMM. I will definitely make zucchinis like this again, only next time I want to add a bit more shredded cheese and top with breadcrumbs/cheese mixture for more of a casserole type dish.

Enjoy!

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