Rice-stuffed Bell Peppers

stuffed pepper 3

Some vegetables are just crying out to be stuffed. That little groove in celery was clearly designed by some higher power with peanut butter in mind. I can’t look at mushrooms without thinking how much better they would be flipped upside down, stems removed, and filled with a rich savory mixture that preferably includes bacon. I don’t mind eating raw bell peppers, but I like them so much more when they’re filled and baked.

The other day I was remembering the red bell peppers stuffed with quinoa that I made a few months ago, and I realized something was missing from my life. Stuffed peppers. I haven’t found quinoa here yet, but I do have plenty of brown rice and tofu, and I knew that together they could make a few green bell peppers into a satisfying meal.

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Recipe
4 small green bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
8 ounces firm tofu, drained of excess water
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used a mixture of brown and white)
1 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 hot red pepper (or jalapeno), chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (green parts only)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Discard the seeds and membranes.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and onion.
Cook until onion is translucent and soft, then add the rice, spinach, hot pepper, and salt.
Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, smash the tofu with your hands until it is a smooth puree. Stir in the rice mixture and green onions and allow to cool slightly. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Place the bell pepper halves in a baking pan and fill each with a few spoonfuls of filling.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown and the peppers are soft.

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