What’s That Smell?

I have a new desk at work. It’s located right outside the kitchen. To some that might sound convenient and amazing, but to me, close proximity means my olfactory senses are working overtime. At any given time, a battery of scents are permeating from the kitchen. The lingering smell of microwaved bacon from breakfast, mixed with the scent of someone’s reheated Chinese takeout for lunch, as well as the inescapable odor of burnt popcorn, leaves me gasping for fresh air. It’s not often that I catch a whiff of something pleasant that leads me into the kitchen to stalk the origin of the aroma. When this occurred last week, my coworker’s Southwestern Stuffed Peppers proved to be the source. It was the traces of corn, onions, chilies, ground beef and melty cheese that brought me to my feet. I needed that recipe. Turns out, the stuffed peppers taste just as good as they looked and smelled.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

What You Need

  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

  • 1/2 pound ground beef chuck (I used Laura's Lean Beef)

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • 1 4.5oz can chopped green chilies

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 4 oz Monterey Jack, grated (1 cup)

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 4 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

  • Salsa for serving

What To Do

  1. Heat oven to 375°.
  2. Cook rice according to the package directions.

  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites and beef and cook, breaking the beef up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Stir in corn, chilies, cumin, cooked rice, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Arrange the bell peppers, cut-side up, in a 9x13 inch baking dish or pan. Divide the beef mixture among the bell peppers, add 1/2 cup water to the dish, tightly cover the dish with foil, and bake until the bell peppers are soft, 30-40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and bake until browned, 5-7 minutes more.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and 1/4 cup water. Drizzle over the bell peppers and top with salsa and scallion greens.


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