BAKED STUFF PEPPERS
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice|
4 large red, green or yellow bell peppers (or a mix), cut in half, seeded, membranes removed
3 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup Aurora sunflower seeds
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, all moisture squeeze out
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Cook brown rice in 1-1/2 cups boiling salted water for 35 minutes or until tender. Drain if necessary. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.
Parboil bell peppers in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and arrange cut-side up in the prepared pan.
Gently sauté onions, celery, and sunflower seeds in the butter over medium heat until onion is soft and translucent. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Add to the rice in the bowl, along with spinach, eggs, chiles, parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Gently toss to thoroughly combine.
Mound rice mixture in the bell peppers. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Pour 1/3 cup hot water down the side of the baking pan. Bake 20 minutes, until heated through.
Yield: 4 servings as a main dish or 8 as a side dish