There are a number of ways to serve food. Platters are great for parties, bowls are great for soups, and mugs are great for people with a Pinterest account. But the best way to serve food is inside other food. Dish soap is irrelevant when you can simply digest your dish. Besides saving you cleaning time, food-based containers are fun. Have you ever seen someone holding an ice cream cone while simultaneously weeping? Likely not, because they are carrying a cup they will soon eat.
This brings me to stuffed peppers, which fit into a sub-genre of food served in food: food served in food and then also on a plate. They also fit into the sub-genre: food served in a vegetable and thus automatically healthy. Peppers vary greatly in their spice level and I was hoping to use poblanos for at least some heat, but there were none left at the market. The bell peppers turned out nicely and will be suitable for even your lamest friends. While I naturally gravitate towards beans, I switched things up by using fake beef, rice, tomatoes, and corn. Like all good things, they are topped with cheese.
- 4 bell peppers (I only made 2)
- 1 cup of uncooked rice
- Chopped onion
- Diced garlic
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- Frozen corn
- 1 package of your preferred fake meat crumbles
- Shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start cooking the rice. Meanwhile, prepare the peppers for roasting. The best technique for removing pepper innards is to cut a thin slice off the top and then scoop out the entrails over the garbage, making sure to scrap off all the seeds. This is another unprecedented method engineered by my father that surely will change the culinary landscape as we know it.
I cut my peppers in half and placed them on a foil-lined baking sheet. For a sturdier pepper container that is appropriate for on-the-go use, leave the peppers whole. I sprayed mine with coconut oil, which is why they look soapy, but you can also slather them with olive oil. Roast them in the oven until they become slightly soft, about 25 minutes.
Ideally the rice and peppers will be ready at the same time. As they cook, start your filling.
Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions turn transparent. Add a tablespoon of cumin and chili powder and then the frozen corn. Pour in the meat crumbles and the diced tomatoes. The meat usually comes out in huge chunks which I stab with my spoon because I’m impatient.
Once the crumbles are properly defrosted add your rice, assuming it has finished cooking. On a whim I squeezed in the juice of half a lime.
Make sure to taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or more chili powder if necessary. Then stir in some cheese.
Fill the peppers with the mixture and then top with more cheese.
Pop them back in the oven until the cheese is melted. This will only take a few minutes.
I recommend topping these off with hot sauce and sour cream if you’re feeling decadent.
Serve on a plate, or don’t.