Recipe: Healthy Mushroom & Mexican Red Rice Stuffed Peppers

I recently consulted with the kitchen at a beautiful Mexican resort called Esperanza, helping to add some new healthier and gluten-free ideas to their menus and giving some health classes. I have the best memories of working with all the warmhearted chefs and staff. One dish they often made for me for a late lunch was rice and mushrooms over salad. It was hearty, full of protein from the mushrooms, and filling — it helped carry me through the dinner service, when I would walk around and chat with guests about their dinner. My Mexican friends knew how I liked it: with salsa, made with very little oil, and hold the sour cream! This recipe was inspired by my experience, and I hope that you love it, too, as it satisfies your spicy cravings with its whole foods.

Mushroom & Mexican Red Rice Stuffed Peppers
by Kimberly Snyder, celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Power

Recipe yields 6 full-size stuffed peppers, or 12 halves

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups filtered water
  • 3⁄4 cup dry red rice, soaked overnight and rinsed well
  • 6 medium red bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, stems removed, seeded and deribbed
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, plus more for greasing the baking dishes
  • 1 cup diced red onions
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3⁄4 Tbsp minced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, diced (about 8 oz)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp  sea salt, to taste

Toppings: 

  • 1 cup fresh salsa or pico de gallo
  • 12 Hass avocado slices
  • 12 fresh cilantro sprigs or 1 cup microgreens

Directions:

  1. Bring the filtered water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the red rice, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender. You can also use a rice cooker for this step. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Prepare an ice water bath. Blanch the red pepper halves by immersing them in the boiling water, and then plunge them into the ice water bath. Remove the red pepper halves to a large plate and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes with coconut oil.
  4. Prepare the stuffing. Heat the 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes, or until they become translucent. Add the garlic and the jalapeño, and sauté for another minute. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté for 3 more minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, coriander powder and sea salt. Fold in the reserved rice and adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Assemble the peppers. Spoon the stuffing into each of the red pepper halves and then arrange the halves in the prepared baking dish. (Depending on the size of your peppers, you may have some stuffing left over. Save it and serve it atop a salad for lunch.)
  6. Cover the baking dishes with aluminum foil, being careful not to touch the peppers, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the tops look lightly browned and a bit crispy. Top each pepper half with some fresh salsa, an avocado slice and a sprig of cilantro, and serve at once.

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