Today I needed something for late lunch/early dinner before work. I’m trying to eat more veggies, and usually I do that by adding them into an egg scramble or into a pasta. But I wanted to try something different. In the past I’ve done stuffed Portobello mushrooms, but didn’t have any of those. So I scoured my fridge, pulled out a bunch of veggies, and suddenly had an idea. When I was at my mom’s this past weekend she let me try some homemade stuffed peppers – the mini cocktail kind – that she stuffed with soft brie cheese and refrigerated. Also, I’m slowly becoming obsessed with goat cheese… it’s so creamy and velvety! So here’s what I did!
Preheat your oven to 375º. Cut the stems/tops off cocktail bell peppers. Scrape the inside to remove any white veins and any seeds. Set aside.
Heat a pat of butter over medium-low heat; add chopped onion and diced mushroom. Stir/toss. Add a tablespoon or so of parmesan cheese and stir; I just used the powdery Kraft kind in the green container. Saute for a few minutes, then add diced garlic and quartered grape tomatoes. Remove from heat when all veggies are soft and it’s aromatic (3-4 minutes).
Scrape veggies into a bowl. While they’re still hot, add about 1/8 cup goat cheese. It will melt and become very creamy… it will look like this:
*if you don’t have goat cheese and/or don’t want to spend extra money on it, you can substitute cream cheese (I suppose…) 😉
Now take a spoon and stuff that stuffing into a pepper! If it is bent or deformed a little, squeeze it to reshape and open it up a bit. Be sure you’re applying enough pressure to get out any air bubbles that may occur from stuffing (you will probably hear a little ‘puff’ each time).
I was only making 7, so I put them in a ramekin to ensure they all stood up straight. I placed the ramekin on a sheet pan and baked for 9 minutes or so in the oven, until the tops were beginning to brown and the peppers had softened just a bit.
Let them cool for at least 5 minutes. You can eat them right away, or wait 5-10 minutes more for them to be easy to handle.
Let me mention that I was on borrowed time, getting ready for work before picking up A from school. This maybe took me a total of 20 minutes, because the onion was already chopped in a bag in my fridge. While the peppers were in the oven, I did all the dishes in the sink that needed to be hand-washed, and a few other things around the kitchen.
They were pretty flavorful and would be a really fun appetizer for a gathering. They’re super easy finger foods, and look pretty displayed in the ramekin. I know it’s not SUPER healthy because of the cheese, but at least there were a lot of veggies in it. 🙂 I believe I got the bag of peppers in one of those “10 for 10, get the 11th free” sales at Meijer – and considering I had all these ingredients in my OHI, it was really affordable. It would be fun to make a bunch of these.
I also had some stuffing left, so I saved it in a bowl in the fridge. The next morning I scrambled a few eggs with it – delish!
Next time I’ll try adding paprika and maybe a bit of onion powder to the stuffing – or maybe even red pepper flakes for extra spice! 😉
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
What would you add to the stuffing mixture?