Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a spectacular weekend–I am appreciating them more and more these days! It has definitely cooled off and feels like fall around here. I am beyond excited for fall color and sweaters and apple farms and pumpkins…I even made my first soup of the season (Stay tuned Wednesday!).
On Saturday night, Jeff and I hosted a little get together for some new friends/colleagues, one of which had a gluten allergy, so the wheels started turning trying to decide what to make. I was definitely excited for the challenge; there is so much information and products out there for gluten free cooking these days, and I finally had an excuse to put some of that to use!
We decided to make chicken marsala for the main dish with quinoa pasta (so good!). I didn’t get any real pictures of the chicken, but for an appetizer, we decided to make stuffed mini sweet bell peppers with goat cheese, short grain brown rice, and green onions.
I’m always intrigued by those big bags of mini bell peppers in the grocery store, so once I decided that our appetizer had to involve those, the rest really fell into place. Goat cheese was the obvious choice because it has so much flavor and melts so nicely. And I wanted something with a little more substance, so brown rice seemed perfect. I think I must usually buy long grain brown rice, but without thinking, ended up with short grain, and it may have been some of the best rice I’ve ever had. Amazing.
The process itself was pretty simple too. I cut off the tops of the peppers and removed all of the insides. Jeff wanted to cut them in half to bake them, but I wanted to truly have bite-sized stuffed peppers, so I convinced him to leave them alone. 1 point for me!
Then, in a separate bowl, I combined a little goat cheese (warmed to help it mix better), cooked brown rice, and chopped green onions.
I tried to stuff the peppers with a spoon first, but gave up and ultimately just used my fingers–it was much easier to stuff them completely full that way! The only thing I might do differently next time is to char the peppers a bit before I stuff them because when I baked them, only one side got nice and charred and it was impossible to flip them in the middle of the baking process (trust me, I tried…and spilled goat cheese stuffing everywhere).
The final product was definitely hit (and totally gluten free)!
Cheesy Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers
Makes 12 mini peppers
12 mini sweet peppers
7 ounces goat cheese
1 cup brown rice, cooked
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut tops off of the bell peppers and remove seeds.
In a separate bowl, mix goat cheese (slightly warmed in microwave), brown rice, green onions, and black pepper, and mix well.
Stuff cheese mixture into bell peppers until completely stuffed full.
Place in the oven and bake, until bell peppers are charred and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Can prep a day in advance.
Time: 35 minutes.