Mexican Stuffed Peppers




Ingredients

• 6 to 8 bell peppers (any color)
• 1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
• 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
• 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
• 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
• 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice or combination
• 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
• 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
• 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw)
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
• 1-1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Jack, or Mexican blend)
• Optional toppings - sour cream, thinly sliced green onion, chopped avocado, olives, chopped cilantro, diced tomato, salsa

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Slice tops off peppers, remove seeds and trim ribs, if necessary. Place peppers in a baking dish and add about 1" of water. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Remove peppers from baking dish and pour off water. Return peppers to baking dish.
3. While peppers are in the oven, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring to break up the beef, until browned and cooked through. Drain off as much grease as possible from the pan. Return the pan to the heat, add onion and garlic and cook till tender. Reduce heat to medium and add the taco seasoning, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, rice, green chiles, frozen corn, crushed red pepper (if using), and 1 cup cheese. Cook until combined and cheese has melted.
4. Fill peppers with the beef mixture and return to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes to 30 minutes, or until peppers are very tender and filling is heated through. Remove foil, top with remaining shredded cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese has melted.