Two things.  1) I’ve never had a stuffed pepper before.  2) I’ve been on a big Mexican kick lately.  For awhile I was on a Thai food thing, but I think I missed Mexican food so much that now it’s all I want to eat again.

Did I mention that it’s awesome eating Mexican food all the time.  I just love it.

Remember my Mexican Lasagna?  Oh lordy… I’m still dreaming about that dish…  Anyway, I got the whole idea from A Couple Cooks which is a food blog written by a couple that lives here in Indy.  I had been doing some casual surfing on their website and found a few really good recipes.  One being the Mexican Lasagna, the other being these lovely stuffed peppers!

Now, like I said, I have never actually eaten a stuffed pepper.  My dad doesn’t eat spicy food so peppers were never really popular in our household growing up.  However, they’ve become pretty much a staple in Brad’s and my household and so I figured it was finally time to give them a try.  I know that typically they are made with meat, but when people describe them to me, it never sounds totally appetizing.  I’m not sure what it is, but a pepper stuffed full with meat just sounds… yuck.  So I was super excited when I realized the recipe that I found didn’t have meat!  I love a good meal that doesn’t have meat in it.  Sometimes it’s harder than you think to come up with a couple meatless meals a week that aren’t the same thing.

Alright.  These peppers are IN-CRED-I-BLE.  Ohhhh man.  We used 2 different kinds of peppers so there would be a variety, green peppers and poblano peppers.  We found that we liked the poblano peppers stuffed  better than the green peppers.  We alllllso grilled these suckers rather than bake them in the oven.  There was no way that I was going to turn the oven on, on the hottest day of the year.  Uhhhh no.  So we gave grilling a try.  The poblano peppers did much better on the grill than the green.  The green peppers just didn’t get cooked enough.  I’m sure in an oven they would have been better, but not so much on the grill.  We did put them on a grilling cookie sheet type thing as well.  Much less messy.  I would highly recommend doing that.

Either way, grill or oven, poblano or green… these are amazing.  They stuffing is so perfect and delicious and you can add as much spice as you want.  You could easily use leftover rice for these, but I had Brad cook some up earlier in the day.  I would recommend that as well, cooking the rice in advance, otherwise you’ll have to wait awhile for that to cook.  I might try using quinoa sometime too.  I feel like it would go well with this.  Other than cooking the rice, these are pretty quick to make.  And easy.  All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and stuff the peppers.  Uh yea.  Easy.

These make a fantastic Meatless Monday meal, or a meal for any night of the week.  With them being so easy and quick, they are a great weeknight meal.  And I am really proud of myself for coming up with the idea to grill them.  Anything we can do to not make the house hotter.  Good grief.

Meatless Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from the combination of this recipe and this recipe (both from A Couple Cooks)
Makes 8 halves of peppers, stuffed

2 green peppers, halved and insides removed
2 poblano peppers, halved and insides removed
1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 4 cups cooked)
1 1/2 – 2 cups salsa
1 15oz can of black beans
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1-2 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
sprinkling of cayenne pepper, optional
About 1 cup of shredded cheese, divided

Cook the rice according to directions on package.

You can precook your peppers by broiling them for a few minutes after they’ve been halved.  Simply place them on a cookie sheet and broil.  Or stick them on the grill!  (I failed to do this step, which is why our green peppers were still very crispy.)

Combine the rice, salsa, beans, corn, green onions, chili powder and cumin in a bowl.  Mix together.  Add in about half of the shredded cheese and stir.

Once the peppers have been cooking for about 5-7 minutes, remove them from the heat and spoon the rice and bean mixture into them.  Top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Place either in the oven or on the grill until the cheese is melted and the peppers are soft.  This doesn’t take too long, especially if you precook your peppers.  To grill them, line a grill safe cookie sheet (we have a grill pan) with foil (this allows for less cleanup!).  Spray the foil with cooking spray so the peppers don’t stick.  Then just throw the whole baking sheet on the grill!

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