I walked to work in the snow this morning. Again. It was cute at first, but now it’s just too much! At least the city seems to be more prepared this time, although I haven’t been outside since 7:30 AM, so time will tell how prepared they really are. My neighborhood was salted up and down, though, so I’m hopeful. It’s fun watching the snow fall from my office 20 stories up, though! Too bad that I know when I finally start my trek home, I’m not going to think that it’s beautiful at all. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, I suppose. We are planning to head up to Eastchester and New Rochelle this weekend to visit with Kramer’s family, so I’m staying positive that the MTA-North will continue running! What are everyone else’s weekend plans? I’m excited to spend some time with the Kramers and the Behrs – it’s been far too long! Wish us luck in getting out of the city!
I know that everyone is probably trying to eat a little lighter now that the holidays are over, but it’s so hard! It’s difficult to get out of the habit of cooking big, stick-to-your-ribs types of meals. Not only are they delicious, but they’re fun and make everyone feel comforted and happy. These stuffed peppers are a great way to transition into healthier eating in 2011. Think of them as a low-carb taco, if you like (I know, it’s a stretch, but work with me here). I used ground chicken instead of ground beef, and instead of a taco shell, the chicken is stuffed into a roasted bell pepper and topped with some pepperjack cheese. My favorite part, though, is the Mexican rice that’s inside. Now, you can cut back on the amount of rice you use if you’re looking to eat fewer carbs, but it’s pretty tasty, so you might have a hard time doing it. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2011, starting with these peppers!
Drain any grease from your pot, and add in your oil and heat it up over medium heat. Add in your rinsed rice. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in your minced garlic and saute for a few minutes, until fragrant.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey (I used chicken)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅓ cup olive oil (or vegetable/canola oil)
- 2 cups long grain white rice (I used Basmati), uncooked
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 4-5 bell peppers, cleaned and tops cut off
- 1½ cups pepperjack cheese (or any other cheese that you prefer)
- Start with the meat. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (the same one you will use for the rice) and saute the minced shallot until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so over medium heat. Add in the ground chicken, then the spices. Cook for 8 minutes or so over medium heat, until cooked through (don’t over cook – it will continue cooking after being removed from the pot as well as when it is added to the rice).
- Remove the chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Cover with foil and set aside. Drain the pot of any grease that has accumulated.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Place 2 cups of long grain rice into a mesh sieve and rinse with water until the water runs clear. Shake off the excess water. Heat the ⅓ cup olive oil in an oven-proof pot over medium heat and add in the rice. Cook until almost translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender, process the can of tomatoes with its juices, chopped onion, and chili powder. When the rice and garlic are ready, add the processed mixture to the rice, stir, and add in the vegetable or chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and stir to make sure it isn’t burning on the bottom, then return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the vegetable broth has been soaked up by the rice. Stir and taste for seasoning. Now, this make a lot of rice, so add rice to the chicken or turkey mixture and stop when you have added the amount that you want. Use the leftover rice to serve on the side or as leftovers for the next night.
- While the rice cooks, you can prepare your bell peppers. Clean them well and slice off their tops, either by slicing it off while upright or laying it on its side and cutting it lengthwise (both versions can be seen in the photos above). Roast on a baking sheet in a 325 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so, until just barely tender. Remove and set aside until ready to use.
- When the meat and rice are ready, stuff the bell peppers with the chicken and rice mixture. Grate enough pepperjack cheese to cover the meat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese is bubbling.