32/52: Growing up & Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Growing up is funny. When you’re a child all you can think about is: when I’m this age, I’ll do this… adults have it soo easy… being an adult is so much better than being a kid… etc. Looking back on my childhood and teen years, it seems like we were always in such a hurry to grow up. I recently went through quite a bit of stuff I had in storage at my dad’s place. It was like a blast from the past. It brought back all of those feelings of childhood where you just felt like the world/your parents were so unfair at times and like you never got to do what you want. Childhood is funny like that. Because now I look back and think, “What in the world was I thinking?!” I had it made! Haha. These memories made me wonder if my future kids will feel the same way I did. I bet they will. Funny stuff.

Also when I was going through the pictures I realized that my love of food went back to my very first years. Quite a few of the pictures of me when I was young were either taken in the kitchen, or with me playing in my toy kitchen in my room. I remember that I loved being in the kitchen with my mom while she was making dinner or cookies, pretty much anything.

I was even excited to help with dishes! 🙂

Another memory surrounding food from my childhood is absolutely hating some things my mom cooked. She generally tried to cook things my dad liked and that meant certain things that totally grossed me out. There were times I think I stayed at the dinner table until it was my bed time, and went straight to bed because I didn’t eat my dinner. One of those dishes was stuffed peppers. Oh my goodness I would nearly cry whenever I saw my mom cooking them up for dinner. But alas, I have grown up and I’m not so picky anymore. In fact, one of my favorite dishes {Inspired by my hubby} now is stuffed peppers! But, not your typical stuffed peppers… they have a {of course} southwestern/mexican twist! Yum! This is my second time making these and this time I added in some ground turkey. But these are easily made vegetarian by excluding that, in fact that is what the original recipe calls for.

I’m honestly not sure why I despised stuffed peppers so much before. Probably just because they look weird. I don’t know if I even really tasted them. This recipe I make is so good. The inside is like mexican comfort food and the peppers are tender yet still slightly crisp… delicious! And, not to mention filling! I think I only ate half of my pepper before I gave the rest to Johnny. These should definitely be on your ‘to make’ list! Funny how your taste buds grow up too! I am thankful I now love stuffed peppers because these are now one of my favorite dinners!

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

4 very large or 6 medium sweet peppers {red, yellow, or orange}
1 Tbs salt
1/2 C white rice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno, minced {I included seeds for extra heat}
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed {1 cup if you are using meat}
1/2 lb ground turkey, cooked
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, sliced
1/2-1 tsp chili powder {you can start with 1/2 and add more to taste}
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 black pepper, plus more to taste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted {drained}
1 1/4 C jack or pepperjack cheese, divided
3-4 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips, just a handful and more for serving if desired.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare peppers by washing, slicing tops off, and removing insides.  Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.   Boil whole peppers for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften.  Remove from water with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

2. If you are adding turkey to this meal – make sure to cook it and lightly season it with pepper and salt. Then remove from pan and set aside until step 4.

3. Add rice to boiling water and cook until tender, about 13 minutes.  Drain thoroughly. {I pre-cooked my rice in a rice cooker}

4. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add corn, beans, turkey, green onions, chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes.  Place peppers in a baking dish.  Remove skillet from heat and add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro.  Stir to combine well and give it a taste.  Add additional salt, pepper, and chili powder to your liking.  Then evenly divide mixture between peppers.

5. Top peppers with remaining 1/4 cup cheese (or more if you can fit it on there 🙂 and crushed tortilla chips.

6. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Source & Recipe: Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites <– Full tutorial here!

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One thought on “32/52: Growing up & Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

  1. We love stuffed peppers! I like your spicy twist on them too. And I totally understand what you mean about growing up. I just cringe when I hear my kids say they can’t wait to be grown-up cuz then they can do what they want. Oh if they only understood. 😉

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