In The Kitchen: Stuffed peppers make a delicious, colorful meal

There are many types of peppers around, but the most popular is the green bell pepper. It is tasty raw and can be cooked as an accent in some dishes as well as used as a “container” for today’s recipe. To make this recipe even better, bell peppers are now ready in area gardens.

Don’t be confused by the colors of bell peppers. A green bell pepper is a pepper that simply isn’t ripe yet. If left to grow, it will change its color to red.

Bell peppers have a combination of tangy taste and a crunchy texture, a glossy exterior that comes in a variety of colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown and black. Brightly-colored bell peppers, whether they are green, red, yellow or orange, are excellent sources of vitamin C and vitamin A. Green bell peppers are not “hot.” The ingredient that causes the “hot” sensation is Capsaicin, and a green bell pepper does not have this chemical. The hotter the pepper, the higher the level of Capsaicin it has.

You can stuff just about any meat mixture into a bell pepper, but this one is especially good.

Stuffed Peppers

4 to 5 medium bell peppers, tops removed, seeds and membranes removed

1 lb. ground chuck or lean ground beef

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups spaghetti sauce or favorite tomato sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped or crushed

1 small can whole kernel corn (10 oz.), drained

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 can dark red kidney beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

Boil peppers in water for only about 3 minutes. Remove and drop in cold water to cool. Set aside.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef, adding the onion and garlic during browning. In a bowl, combine rice, spaghetti sauce, corn, Worcestershire sauce, salt, beans, and 1/2 of the cheese. Add the beef and onion/garlic mixture. Arrange the bell peppers in a baking dish.

(If the peppers won’t stand upright, just slice a small amount off the bottom). Spoon the ground beef mixture into peppers and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of each pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

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