Summery Stuffed Sweet Peppers
4 red/orange bell peppers, tops removed and de-seeded
2 cups short grain brown rice
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 jar organic pasta sauce (tomato base) – I used Simply Natural’s ‘Organic Tomato with Roasted Garlic’
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Cut off the tops of each bell pepper and using a spoon, scoop out any seeds or white bits, while keeping the peppers whole.
3. In a rice cooker or large pot, place 2 cups of short grain brown rice, and fill with 3 cups of filtered water. Add a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a pinch of salt. Put on a tight fitting lid, and bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until all the water is absorbed (or let the rice cooker do it’s magic).
4. In a baking dish, place bell peppers upside down. Fill dish with 1 inch of filtered water and place a tight-fitting lid or tin foil on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until peppers are slightly soft.
5. In a large cast iron (or Teflon-free) frying pan, add olive oil and sauté onions and garlic on low-medium heat until translucent. Add diced zucchini, celery, and carrot and cook until soft, adding salt and pepper to taste.
6. Once all vegetables are cooked, add in pasta sauce and heat on low; add cooked rice to frying pan and stir until well combined. *Option to add in fresh spinach at this point to crank up the health-factor a notch
7. Once peppers have been baked, you can throw them on the bbq for 5-10 minutes to add a charred look and flavour. To use straight from the oven, drain water and let peppers cool before filling them with your sauce & rice mixture.
8. Top with sliced green onions, a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of salt, and some freshly ground pepper to serve.
Alex Comrie, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) Nutritional Consulting