Baking the filling in the pepper transforms the pepper into something a shell of "deliciousness," and adds another dimension to the filling. Whether you are cooking for a crowd or extra meals for your freezer, this recipe is for you!
14½ounce canpetite diced tomatoes, drained with 1/4 cup juice reserved
1½-2cupscooked brown riceor white rice
1cupshredded cheese (4 ounces)
Prepare the Peppers
Rinse the peppers and look for the flatter sides so the pepper will lie flat when stuffed.
Cut in half from top to bottom (stem to blossom end not around the "equator" or middle of the pepper.)
Carefully cut around the stem and remove the stem and seeds. You may need to also remove some ribs and seeds from the sides.
Arrange the peppers in a single layer in baking dishes.
Prepare the Filling
Cut the garlic, shallots (or onions), and carrots.
Add the vegetables and the ground meat to the pan. Stir until no large chunks of meat remain. Cook until meat is browned.
Drain the tomatoes and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add the tomatoes to the pan. Stir.
Add rice to the pan. If the rice is frozen, put it on top of the meat vegetables mixture so it does not stick. Simmer over low heat until the rice thaws. If you have a cover to go over the frying pan, it will speed the thawing.
Take off the heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
Filling and Baking
Place pepper halves in pans. Fill the peppers with filling.
Combine reserved tomato juice with ketchup. Spoon tomato mixture over stuffed peppers.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until pepper is tender when stabbed with a fork.