Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bell Peppers Stuffed with White Beans, Mushrooms, & Walnuts

Bell peppers are the perfect stuffing vegetable. Sturdy and large, these colorful "cups" go with just about anything you can come up with to tuck inside. I used to think the only stuffing for a pepper was a concoction consisting mostly of white rice and ground beef. No more! The "Bell Peppers Stuffed with White Beans, Mushrooms, & Walnuts" (page 335) is a simple yet elegant combination of ingredients that take stuffed bell peppers out of the mundane and into something quite special. Besides the beans, mushrooms, and walnuts, the mixture also contains onion, garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs. As the recipe states, you can use any color combination of peppers you want - all of one color, or mix and match for a rainbow effect. As in most recipes for stuffed bell peppers, this one has you pre-cooking the peppers in a pot of boiling water prior to stuffing and baking them. I skip this step because to me, the peppers come out too soft in the end. Instead, I load the stuffing right into the raw pepper halves prior to the bake. This will yield a slightly crunchy pepper, which is the way I prefer them.
"Keeping it McDougall Friendly" checklist:

ü Omit the oil when sautéing the veggies. Use a nonstick skillet and/or a little water, broth, or sherry for the sauté liquid.

ü Use whole-grain, oil-free breadcrumbs. Panko crumbs are usually a good option, but check the label, as some brands have begun adding oils to the ingredients list.

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