Teresa’s Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
Yields 8 stuffed bell peppers
8 whole bell peppers, various colors
2 whole sweet onions
1/2 lb dry black beans
1 and 1/4 cups zatarans long grain rice
4 to 6 garlic cloves
1 tsp cayenne
5 tsp cumin
2 large handfuls chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Approx 5 TBS olive oil
1 – 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with habanero
2 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Cook 1/2 lb. black beans per package directions (I like to soak mine overnight before cooking) and add 1 chopped onion to black beans while cooking. Once beans have cooked about 3 hrs, check for doneness and if done, remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.
Cook 1 and 1/4 cups zataran rice per package directions adding 2 TBS olive oil.
While rice is cooking, wash the whole bell peppers and cut the tops off each one (see pics below). Remove seeds. Set the large sections aside and remove the middle of the top sections. Chop the bell pepper remaining from the top sections and also chop the remaining onion and the garlic. Sauté these chopped vegetables in about 3 TBS olive oil until tender. Remove from heat.
Drain Rotel tomatoes and sauté for about 8 minutes over medium heat being careful not to inhale the peppery steam from the habaneros.
In large pot, boil the whole bell peppers for about five minutes. This will help assure the bell peppers are very tender when finished baking laTer. Drain. Carefully remove from pot (I use two spoons to avoid tearing them) and place in a baking dish lined with foil or parchment paper. Add a dash of salt to inside of each whole bell pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together in a small bowl the following ingredients: cayenne, cumin, cilantro, 4 TBS olive oil…if extremely thick, add a little more olive oil. Add this mixture to the cooked rice and mix well. Add the cooked black beans to the cooked rice and salt and pepper to taste.
In large bowl, mix together 4 cups of the black beans and rice mixture, the sautéed vegetables (onions, garlic, bell peppers), the heated Rotel tomatoes and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Save the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese for later. Carefully spoon the mixture into each whole bell pepper that is in the baking dish until each pepper is full.
Bake the stuffed peppers for 25 minutes, then remove from oven and top each whole stuffed bell pepper with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Bake 10 more minutes.
Remove from oven and top with your favorite toppings such as sour cream, avocados, etc. Enjoy!