By Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Lifestyle Expert
We are always looking for ways to make a rich, high-calorie meal healthier. Stuffed bell peppers is one meal that can serve as a side dish and a main course. You can easily switch out some heavier, high fat ingredients for fresher, lighter alternatives.
It’s also a great way to include anyone’s eating habits, from vegetarians to meat eaters. Everyone can get on board with these peppy peppers.
Dropping the amount of shredded cheese and sour cream from my grandmother’s recipe, I added some goat cheese instead, fresh from a local farmer’s market.
And to replace the fatty ground beef, we chose a soy chorizo, with less fat but still chock full of protein. You can basically substitute any meat or filling, like quinoa or more rice or even eggs and potatoes. (I’ll get that recipe up soon!)
Chorizo and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers
- 4 red, yellow or green bell peppers
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup soy chorizo
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, softened
- 1 tbs. freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 sharp cheddar slices or 1/2 cup of sharp shredded cheese
- Olive oil for sauté and grease baking dish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sauté onions, garlic, carrots, cilantro in 1 tbs. oil for about seven minutes.
Add to medium bowl with softened goat cheese, chorizo and rice. Mix gently adding pepper and salt and let sit for about ten minutes while you prepare your peppers.
Wash peppers, and carefully cut around stem in a circle to cut out the top of the pepper.
With your fingers, gently pull out the ribs and tap pepper upside-down to get out seeds.
Lightly grease a small casserole dish and sit upright in dish.
Fill peppers with chorizo and rice filling.
Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove foil and top with cheese slices or shredded cheese.
Place back in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble slightly.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly and serve. Freezes well for 4-6 months.
Twinkle VanWinkle has over 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and has appeared on Food Network’s "The Best Of…" Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.
Police in Warren are investigating an armed robbery that happened at the corner of Vine Avenue and Atlantic Street on Sunday night.
Friends and family of Dr. Steven Frank held a fundraiser to raise money for treatment needed to fight renal cancer.
A Columbiana County Sheriff's deputy is a week and a half away from dropping off Christmas toys at Akron Children's hospital, but so far there is not one toy in the donation boxes.
The Youngstown Fire Department fought three house fires early Sunday morning.
Winter Weather Advisories are in effect through Monday morning. Light freezing rain or freezing drizzle is possible overnight Sunday into Monday.
Hakeem Henderson is facing two counts of aggravated murder of Adam Christian and Raymond Hayes in November 2011.
The concert at Powers Auditorium on Sunday afternoon included more than 350 young musicians and singers.
UAW Local 1112 held its annual Children's Christmas party on Sunday.
Over 100 families enjoyed the Santaland Brunch on Sunday at Vernon's Café, which raises money to help the Niles Community Service Food Bank.
St. Stanislaus Church held a special mass on Sunday to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
An East Liverpool police officer preparing to tow an illegally licensed vehicle Friday found something more than he expected: a box of holiday-themed crack cocaine.
Christmas officially kicked off Saturday in the city of Youngstown.
A new burger was crowned "king" of the Mahoning Valley Saturday.
A fashion show was held in Warren Saturday to help children who are living in a shelter.
Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County dedicated its 39th house on Saturday. It's been a long journey to get to this day, including the cleanup after vandals and thieves threatened the project.
Eastern Gateway Community College in Youngstown held an open house Saturday. The event is just one of many the school will be hosting to attract more students.