Meatless Monday & Money Matters: Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers

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Yesterday at around noon-ish (I think it was noon-ish…this whole spring forward business has me feeling all sorts of off), my kitchen was bustling with pepper preparations.

I had purchased all of the ingredients for these peppers about a week ago, and the peppers were showing signs of aging. It was time to make stuffed pepper magic.

And Mr. Prevention, as described on Facebook, F-bomed his way through making faux fried japalenos (adapted from my Oven-Fried Pickles recipe)…and nearly burned the house down.

Naturally, he was overly proud of his “accomplishment” and proceeded to leave the kitchen in complete disarray. Naturally.

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Since Mr. Prevention doesn’t read my blog (lame!), I can safely say without repercussion that my peppers out-did his peppers…big time. He will also never know that I shared his F-bombing and hazardous actions in the kitchen. Though, he did give permission for me to blog about his endeavors, photos included. How thoughtful of him.

Anyways. My stuffed peppers…were awesome.

I hear about stuffed peppers a lot as a dietitian because they’re what I would refer to as a “mixed food”. When I’m discussing dietary intake with patients, I have to ask them to elaborate as to what is contained in their stuffed peppers because the recipe varies a lot from one kitchen and family to the next. Most “American” stuffed peppers include rice, tomatoes and/or tomato sauce or paste, ground beef, and cheese.

And now I’ll be honest. Nothing about that combination sounds appealing to me. At all, whatsoever.

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But with a Mexican twist of rice, black beans, spices, corn, and cheese. NOW we’re talking. This combination suits my love affair with all things Mexican juuuussst fine.

By omitting meat and adding beans, you are cutting calories and fat and adding fiber, vitamins, and minerals…all while keeping these peppers with plenty of protein to tide over the meat-lovers in your life and to provide some serious staying power.

Only with 9 grams of fiber can 228 measly calories be substantial enough to be called a meal.

A thing of beauty: delicious, nutritious, quick, AND cheap. This is soooo my kind of recipe.

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Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers slightly adapted from Simply Life

1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
2 large red or green bell peppers, cut in half and cleaned
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
squeeze of lime juice (optional)
1/3 cup part-skim Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

Turn on broiler to 550 F. Place halved and cleaned bell peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment, face down. Broil for 4-6 minutes, until blackened. Place in airtight container or ziplock bag and let sit for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off skin.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in beans and reduce heat to low. Stir in cooked rice, corn, and all seasonings and lime juice, if using. Warm through 1-2 minutes.

Return pepper halves to the lined baking sheet. Stuff each pepper half with rice and bean mixture. Top with cheese and bake about 12-15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (1/2 stuffed pepper each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 228 calories; 5.8 g. fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 275 mg. sodium; 35.3 g. carbohydrate; 9 g. fiber; 11.3 g. protein

Result: Great Mexican flavors in this vegetarian fare! I’ve made stuffed peppers once before — a very similar recipe, actually. The only major difference was poblano peppers vs. bell peppers. The bell peppers are larger, generally speaking, so you can pack more stuffing in. The bell peppers are sweet without any heat, so for those no wanting any real heat, this is a better choice. I pumped up the heat with the cayenne – that stuff is potent so taste as you go…a little bit goes a long way. The cumin and lime juice work well together to create a very fresh, smokey-citrus blend. Quick to make…and cheap! Enjoy!

Money Matters: Red bell peppers, on sale, run $1 each and green bell peppers on sale run $0.68. To cut cost, I used one of each, but you could certainly use all green bell peppers. Half an onion is $0.30 and a can of black beans costs $1.10. Bags of frozen corn (12 oz) go on sale for $1 all the time — my corn was frozen from summer’s corn-on-the-cob…but we’ll put about a $0.20 price tag on the corn. The remaining ingredients estimate to ~$1.50 (rice, oil, cilantro, spices, garlic). The total cost of the recipe comes to $4.78 making the cost per serving $1.20.

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 Hi-ho, hi-ho…off to another work week we go. Have a great week!

 Be well,

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32 Comments

  1. March 12, 2012 / 5:49 am

    I do enjoy the fact that there are many variations to stuffed peppers. I never get bored.

  2. March 12, 2012 / 6:56 am

    I’m loving it!!This recipe reminds me of my grandma, because she always used to make stuffed peppers when I Was growing up. Of course..they were stuffed with good ol’ Italian sausage!

  3. March 12, 2012 / 6:59 am

    I’ve never been a fan of “traditional” stuffed peppers. This is something I can get excited about!

  4. March 12, 2012 / 7:06 am

    oh I’m so glad you liked this recipe! Your photos are beautiful!

  5. March 12, 2012 / 7:08 am

    These look ten times better than the sad attempt I made a year or so ago at stuffed peppers. My patience definitely failed me when it came to how long to keep them in the oven. Sadness…

  6. March 12, 2012 / 8:49 am

    Loving this! Too bad my dear hubby doesn’t like beans, or peppers…sigh…

  7. March 12, 2012 / 10:37 am

    I may try these – my husband is not the biggest fan of stuffed peppers but I don’t see why he wouldn’t like these! Especially with the cheese on top!

  8. March 12, 2012 / 12:04 pm

    I have a weird aversion to peppers. I like their flavor, but I cant eat them. So I usually stuff tomatoes, but I think tomatoes would work for this recipe just fine.

    And you should know, your husband isnt the only one who can nearly torch a kitchen. I actually set my parents kitchen on fire once. I told my mom I was really just doing her a favor because I knew she wanted a new countertop . . .

  9. March 12, 2012 / 12:27 pm

    I love stuffed peppers – have one for lunch today as a matter of fact – I lucked out that last week my store sold every color pepper for .88 cents a pound!

    Sorry Mr. P. doesn’t read your blog – he’s missing out! Tony usually reads mine to let me know if there are any typos!

  10. March 12, 2012 / 12:54 pm

    I LOVE stuffed peppers! These look so delicious!

  11. March 12, 2012 / 2:04 pm

    I’ve made stuffed peppers only a few times, but I like the idea of using beans instead of the meat…

    I could totally make those for my lunches. Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. March 12, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    Yummy! I’m actually not usually a fan of bell peppers. I hide them in things so I eat them, but I rarely just want a pepper. I have gotten better since hating them as a kid, but I’m not sure I’m ready for this, lol. I do think I’d love this with poblanos though(no idea why I like some peppers and not others, haha). Either way, the filling sounds delicious, I love the Mexican theme 😀

  13. March 12, 2012 / 2:46 pm

    These look so good!! I love your photos :). My hubs doesn’t read my blog either…. Lame.

    Love how mexican food is soooo easily made vegetarian. Keeps it affordable!

    And maybe I’m a little late, but I love the blog updates. The new avocado is CUTE!

  14. March 12, 2012 / 4:03 pm

    I agree, this filling is definitely the one I prefer when it comes to stuffed peppers! This looks fabulous!
    Mr. Prevention cracks me up!

  15. March 12, 2012 / 7:36 pm

    My husband doesn’t read my blog either, totally lame 🙂 Your peppers look awesome, but I do like the traditional stuffed pepper also.

  16. March 12, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    Congrats on being nominated for best healthy food blog-I voted for you (Biz sent me over). You have been on and off my radar b/c of her but I never figured out how to subscribe by email until now (I’m slow-lol). I love your blog, both the look and the content! I have been eating clean for about a month and a half and feel great-your recipes are right up my alley.

  17. March 12, 2012 / 9:42 pm

    Yum, I love stuffed peppers! I am cracking up about the Fbomb filled kitchen! Now I need to see the pics. 🙂

  18. March 12, 2012 / 11:08 pm

    Looks fantastic, I love stuffing veggies! I also love the price tag 🙂

  19. March 13, 2012 / 4:10 am

    It seems to be an universal hubby thing… they dun read our blogs. It is coz he won’t mind me talking abt him when he does not evwn know haha! i love how ur dish turned out, so colofil and tantalizing. thanks for the inspiration

  20. March 13, 2012 / 10:59 am

    mmmm, looks like a delicious healthy meal. Taking traditional stuffed peppers in a Mexican direction is a great idea

  21. Ana
    March 14, 2012 / 7:28 pm

    What a fantastic idea- I ] did this all on the grill – roasted the peppers on the grill, then put the filled peppers in a cast iron pan to “roast.” It’s 80 degrees down here in Chambana and I like to keep the oven off;). They were delicious! I also added a bit of smoked paprika instead of regular. Delicious! Thanks for another healthy and tasty recipe! (And budget friendly!).

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      March 14, 2012 / 8:56 pm

      Ana! What a wonderful idea – I will definitely be trying that! Thanks 🙂 And P.S. our poor, poor Illini. What a sad year for Illinois fans!

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