Food should be colorful, hearty, and full of nutrition. Admittedly, some of my recipes are more nutritious than others. One of the problems with “healthy meals” is that we seem to think as a culture that healthy means bland, or is limited to salads. Clearly I like a good burger but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to get creative, grab fresh produce and make something delicious and nutritious.

                These stuffed peppers hit the spot on so many different levels, texture, flavor, and color, but they are also filling! It’s a relatively simple dish and it can be made ahead of time and saved for later. Grab some peppers and get in the kitchen!

 

Stuffed Peppers:

6 Bell Peppers (Choose different colors, but any color will do)

1 ½ Cup Brown Rice

1 white onion, diced

1lbs Ground Chicken

8 oz mushrooms, diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 large zucchini, chopped

3oz fresh spinach (this is way more than it sounds)

1 can tomatoes, diced (I like Italian style but it’s up to your creativity and pallet)

¼ tsp red pepper flake

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tsp paprika

 

½ cup Panko bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Black pepper

 

                Preheat your oven to 350. Cook 1 ½ cups of brown rice according to the package directions. I have a rice cooker…it is an incredible $15 investment. Slice the tops off your peppers, seed and de-rib them. I would give them a good rinse too. Put a tbsp. or so of olive oil in the bottom of a large casserole dish and place the peppers in the dish. Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove them from the oven and crank the oven up to 425.

                Meanwhile, in a large pot heat up 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and saute until translucent. Add the ground chicken and cook thoroughly, stirring to break up the large chunks, season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown in color and give off their moisture. Stir in the garlic, zucchini and spinach. Cook until the spinach has reduced and the moisture is mostly evaporated. Add the can of tomatoes and the cooked brown rice. Season with turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

                Carefully fill the peppers with the rice, chicken and vegetable mixture. I had 6 rather large peppers and this mixture filled them up nicely. Depending on the size of your peppers you may have some excess. Fill each pepper to the top. In a small bowl combine the Panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Top each pepper with the crumb and cheese mixture. Return the casserole dish to the oven (425) at cook for an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.