Blank Canvas

IMG_1226Some mornings are easier than others. It always bodes ill when Daisy makes a mad dash for the door instead of her usual lazy stroll. Made her a breakfast of chicken and rice to settle her upset stomach. Under the heading of “always something.”

Anyway, now that Daisy is settled on the couch for a nap, I can return to my initial focus: stuffed peppers. They truly are a blank canvas, waiting to be stuffed with any number of fillings.

Most recently, I used my standard hamburger and brown rice stuffing, but next time I plan to stuff them with Joanne Chang’s Spicy Three Bean and Corn Chili. (Blog: Seven Cans and Some Spices, March 24, 2014.) This particular recipe makes a lot of chili, and it freezes really well. I love things that I can use for two purposes. We’ll have the chili as a meal, and they’ll be plenty left over to stuff peppers another day.

This chili recipe is vegetarian. I would tend to top the filling with cheese, but leaving off the cheese, it’s vegan. This really isn’t something that I’ve given a lot of thought, but I had a discussion with a friend who has recently decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle. It was kind of eye-opening. It’s good to understand these things, and have a repertoire that will answer many and varied needs.

Stuffed Peppers (meat version)

1. Cut three bell peppers in half, clean out the seeds and par-cook them in boiling water. I like red, yellow and orange, but green is just fine. Drain and blot dry with paper towels. Fit them into a baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
2. Fry a chopped onion in a little olive oil. Add a half pound of hamburger and continue cooking. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once the hamburger is fully cooked, drain off the excess fat. Add about a half cup of corn and a can of Ro-Tel (tomatoes and green chilies.) You can used diced tomatoes instead, but you’ll need to add some hot sauce to spice things up.
4. Add a cup of cooked brown or white rice. Preferably leftover from another meal.
5. Stir and heat through to combine flavors.
6. Stuff into pepper shells and top with shredded Jack or Cheddar cheese.
7. At this point, you can cover the pan and refrigerate it until you are ready to cook, or you can bake it in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes. I like to cover it with a foil tent for the first 30 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes.



About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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