The word "stuffed" seems to have been a big part of my vocabulary today. Earlier, the hubby asked me where something was and I said "It's probably stuffed into the bottom of my purse." After having lunch I said to my friend "I'm stuffed." So I guess it was very fitting to serve "stuffed" peppers tonight. I have made many different versions of these and I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I can't say this is the healthiest version, but I can say it tasted great!
1 cup, cooked, brown rice
3 red or green peppers
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 jalapenos, diced ( you can use just 1 or take the seeds out of them to make this less spicy)
2 tsp olive oil
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
8 oz mild Italian sausage ( I buy it ground so I don't have to remove the meat from the casings)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
Grated Mozzarella cheese for the topping
Heat oven to 375°
Cook the brown rice and set aside.
Cut the top off your peppers and set the tops aside to chop later. Remove any seeds or membranes from the insides of your peppers. Place your peppers in a small square baking dish that you have sprayed with Pam. If they topple over, just trim a very small amount off the bottom so they stand upright.
Chop the caps of the peppers that you removed. Be sure to not include the stems or any white membranes when you chop them. Set the chopped caps aside.
Chop the onion, garlic and the jalapenos.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, throw in your chopped peppers, onion, garlic and jalapenos. Cook for just a few minutes until they soften. Don't brown them. Place the pepper mixture into a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, cook your bacon and set aside. Drain any grease from the pan.
In the same skillet again, cook the Italian sausage until browned, but it does not have to be cooked completely.
Put your bacon into the pan with your sausage and add your onion mixture. Add the oregano, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Cook for just a few minutes on med heat.
Toss in the parmesan cheese and the brown rice. Stir together. Cook for 1-2 minutes to blend the flavors.
Stuff each pepper with a lot of the mixture. Press it down to pack it in. Bake at 375° for about 30- 35 minutes. Take the peppers out of the oven and cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake again for about 10-15 minutes or until mozzarella is completely melted.