Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

4 very large or 6 medium sweet peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup white rice, brown rice or quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno, minced (or 1 3 ounce can of mild green chilies)
1 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, sliced
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (you can start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 black pepper, plus more to taste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 1/4 C jack or pepperjack cheese, divided
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare peppers by washing, slicing tops off, and removing insides. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil whole peppers for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Remove from water with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

Add rice to boiling water and cook as per directions on package.

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno (or chilies) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, green onions, chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Place peppers in a baking dish. Remove skillet from heat and add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro. Stir to combine well and give it a taste. Add additional salt, pepper, and chipotle powder to your liking. Then evenly divide mixture between peppers.

Top peppers with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

From Our Best Bites

Chicken Chow Mein

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
1 red pepper, diced
2-3 blocks egg noodles
100 g beansprouts
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

Cook the noodles as directed on the pack, rinse and drain well. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-sided frying pan. Stir-fry the chicken for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and red pepper and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the beansprouts, soy sauce, sugar, salt, sesame oil and noodles. Mix the ingredients well, heat through and serve.

From Sharwood’s

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Ingredients

4 red bell peppers
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can diced or whole tomatoes, undrained
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
1/4-1/2 cup half and half or light sour cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
extra sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

Cut red peppers in half lengthwise; pull out the seeds and membranes. Place cut side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Roast at 450°F or broil on high for about 30 minutes (less under the broiler), until blackened and blistered, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly.

Remove from the sheet and place in a bowl; cover with the foil or a plate and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard them, dropping the peppers back into the bowl.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, add the thyme, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer; add the red peppers along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl and cook for about 20 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low and add the cream, salt and pepper. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches and pulse until smooth. Heat through, adjust the seasoning and serve warm. If you like, top each bowl with a small dollop of sour cream, and run a bamboo skewer through it to create a teardrop shape.

From Dinner with Julie

Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients

7 oz jar roasted red peppers (about 1 cup diced)
4 cups grated pepper jack cheese (3/4 lb)
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove peppers from jar and blot excess water with paper towels. You want to make sure they are dry so they don’t add moisture to the dip. Then dice them.

In a bowl, soften cream cheese in microwave. Add in mayo, onion, garlic, and dijon. Stir to combine and then add in the grated cheese and the diced peppers. Place in an 8×8 dish or a pie plate. At this point you can pop it in the fridge if you’re going to cook it later. You can make it a couple of days ahead of time. Place in the oven and cook for 30-45 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of the dish you make it in. It will start to bubble and brown on the outside edge, and you will know it’s done when it is bubbly all the way through to the center. It will be nice and golden brown on top, especially around the edges.

Serve immediately. If the dip is done and you’re not ready to eat it, just keep it warm in the oven. If you’re eating leftovers, or you cooked it ahead of time, reheat in the oven (not the microwave). You can serve it with just about anything – tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, or baguette slices. My personal favourite is homemade pita bread.

From Our Best Bites