This dish happened by accident. What accident was that? The same one I make frequently. I haven't been grocery shopping, it's dinner time and I need something quick, easy and delicious. So I start creating a recipe from what I have on hand. On this particular day, I had peppers and a block of pepper jack cheese, some left over rice and a pound of hamburger meat in the freezer. Stuffed peppers! But the pepper jack cheese put me in a Mexican state of mind, so I take a peek in the pantry. Ah-ha! Fajita seasoning! Perfect...
These are so simple. You can assemble them ahead and bake later, and the left overs, if you have any, freeze extremely well. So make plenty while you're at it!
6 red or green medium bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
1 pound hamburger meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 packet fajita seasoning mix
1 cup cooked rice
1- 15 ounce can tomato puree
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
About the peppers...the reason I had some on hand in the freezer is because I'm a thrifter. I buy them from the little produce stand that's next to Clover Cottage, but I don't buy the best ones. I get the peppers that are on sale, maybe they have a spot or two that can be trimmed off. This way, I have ready to use peppers throughout the year. Just wash and dry them, trim off the tops, remove the seeds, place them in gallon freezer and into the freezer. You'll appreciate having them so handy!
If you use frozen peppers, thaw them slightly before stuffing them. For fresh peppers, wash and dry them, trim the tops, remove the seeds, place them into a microwave safe dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap and cook on medium heat until they're only slightly softened.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Brown the hamburger meat on medium heat, and add the salt and pepper. Drain the fat.
Add the onion and cook until they're translucent.
Remove the burger onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the fajita seasoning mix, all except 1/2 cup of the tomato puree, all except 1/2 cup of the cheese and the rice. Mix well.
Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and place the peppers into the dish.
Fill the peppers with the burger mixture, and don't worry about overstuffing them...is there such a thing?
Sprinkle the remaining half cup of tomato puree around the bottom of the peppers and on top of them. Add the remaining cheese to the top and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
If you're in a hurry, just whip up my Easy, creamy Parmesan salad dressing, served over romaine lettuce and some crusty garlic bread on the side...I love simple!