1 Most are familiar with red and green bell peppers, but they also come in yellow, orange, brown, white and purple.
2 The peppers were so bright and cheerful, I decided to make vegetarian stuffed peppers for my lunch guests. Growing up, my family often had peppers stuffed with meat, but this version is also very delicious - and my daughter Alexis loves them.
3 To prepare them, wash the peppers, and cut off the tops - but don't throw them away - they will be placed on top of the stuffed pepper bottoms before they are cooked.
4 Remove the stems, core and all the seeds from inside the pepper. And, don't forget - save those tops.
5 The core and seeds can go straight into the compost. Here at the farm, these will go to my chickens - nothing is wasted.
6 Also remove as much of the white membranes as possible, leaving a clean, empty bell pepper cavity.
7 Meanwhile, in a big saucepan, prepare a base. I prepared this one using frozen tomato sauce made from tomatoes I harvested from the garden this past summer. Add some garlic, herbs, and some chopped bell pepper too.
8 Stir the base, making sure all the frozen tomatoes are cooked.
9 Add some sliced onion
10 Leave this on the stove for several minutes until the onions are cooked.
12 Boil the rice first, cooking it in a saucepan until it is just a little undercooked.
13 You can also soak the raisins in a small bowl of orange juice until they are plumped - this takes about 15 minutes.
14 In another saucepan, cook the onions and leeks - you can also use shallots. Stir in some chopped bell pepper, and then the plump raisins, some herbs, and finally the cooked rice.
15 And fill each pepper to the top with the mixture - the raisins give it just the right amount of sweetness.
16 I had the perfect number of peppers for my stuffing. Somehow, when it comes to how much I need of something, I always seem to estimate just right.
17 Bell pepper are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Along with the nutrient-filled stuffing, this is a very good and healthy meal.
18 Remove the base from the stove and place the peppers on top.
19 Remember the pepper tops? Place them back on the peppers, and don't worry if you can't match them up perfectly.
20 Be sure to use a saucepan that is big enough to accommodate your peppers. You can also use a lined baking pan.
21 This eight-quart pot is big enough for eight to 10-stuffed peppers. I used two pots.
22 I added more tomatoes on top - tomatoes that were also from my garden. We had such a productive tomato harvest last year, I was able to save and freeze quite a lot. It is so nice to be able to enjoy my own vegetables all year round.
23 Drizzle olive oil on top of the peppers.
24 Doesn't that look delicious? And, so, so easy.
25 Place them in the oven at 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until the peppers are tender and the rice is completely heated through. In all, this should take about an hour.
28 Top them with some herbs and they're ready to serve. Make some this weekend - you will love them!