Clean out fridge and make easy stuffed peppers

1/5/2014
BY ALICIA ROSS
KITCHEN SCOOP
Depending on what ingredients you have on hand, you can freely substitute vegetables, grains, and cheese in this recipe for Confetti-Baked Peppers.
Depending on what ingredients you have on hand, you can freely substitute vegetables, grains, and cheese in this recipe for Confetti-Baked Peppers.

The beginning of the new year is a terrific time to clean out your refrigerator and make dinner. The past six weeks have most likely been about celebrating, so you’ve probably got food odds and ends galore in your refrigerator.

Today’s dish is more of an idea than a recipe, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll write it as an official recipe. Take a look at the following list to see just how flexible this “recipe” can really be:

For each serving, you need: a large bell pepper of any color or variety; cooked white, brown, or wild rice; quinoa, steamed flax, or bulgur; any combination of thinly sliced or chopped vegetables such as mushrooms, scallions or yellow onions, peppers, carrots, kale, spinach, or tomatoes. Basically any veggie you have in the refrigerator bin is probably a favorite anyway, so throw it in.

You’ll also need any shredded, chopped, or crumbled cheese of your choice — or even a mixture. Again, the possibilities are endless: parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, goat cheese, blue cheese, etc.

The flavors are spectacular, intense, and different every time. The pepper is crisp-tender, the thinly sliced veggies are just right, and your cheese and starch choice hold it all together.

While every combination will have a different nutrition analysis, today’s recipe is based on the exact ingredients listed below. Most other combinations are very similar, staying at about the 200-calorie mark.

Confetti-Baked Peppers

Start to finish: 10 minutes prep; 30 minutes bake

Yield: 1 serving (can be doubled, tripled, etc.)

1 large red bell pepper

3 tablespoons cooked white rice

½ cup fresh tomato, diced

¼ cup carrot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons thinly sliced celery

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions

2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons shredded Swiss cheese

Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut off the top of the pepper. Remove stem and seeds and inner membranes, discard. Place pepper in an ovenproof ceramic dish. In a small bowl, combine rice, vegetables, and cheese. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stuff mixture into pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Approximate values per serving: 200 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated), 20 mg cholesterol, 9 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, 113 mg sodium.

Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/‚Äčo Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at www.kitchenscoop.com.