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Vegetarian

Savory Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers – Wholesome Supper

45 minutes. Cook
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Introduction:
Stuffed peppers are a classic comfort dish with a rich history that dates back to the Mediterranean region, where they became popular due to the abundance of peppers and the need to use leftovers creatively. In this recipe, we’ll explore the art of crafting savory spinach and mushroom stuffed peppers.

Historical Context: Stuffed peppers have a fascinating history that can be traced back to ancient times. The concept of stuffing vegetables was born out of necessity as people sought to make the most of available ingredients. In Mediterranean cuisine, the use of vegetables as edible vessels for stuffing became particularly prominent. Peppers, which are native to Central and South America, eventually made their way to the Mediterranean region, where they were embraced for their versatility.

Preparation:

1. Preparing the Bell Peppers:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Wash the bell peppers and cut off the tops. Remove the seeds and membranes, leaving a hollow pepper to stuff. Set aside.

2. Sautéing the Aromatics and Mushrooms:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the finely chopped mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until they release their moisture and become tender.
  • Stir in the chopped spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes until wilted. Remove from heat.

3. Preparing the Filling:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa or rice with the sautéed mushroom and spinach mixture. Add half of the shredded mozzarella cheese and red pepper flakes for a touch of heat. Mix well.

4. Stuffing the Peppers:

  • Carefully fill each hollowed bell pepper with the prepared stuffing mixture, pressing down gently to pack it in. Place the stuffed peppers upright in a baking dish.

5. Creating the Tomato Sauce:

  • In the same skillet, pour the can of diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Baking the Stuffed Peppers:

  • Pour the tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the top.

7. Baking:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the peppers are tender but still hold their shape.

8. Final Touch:

  • Remove the foil and let the cheese on top of the stuffed peppers brown slightly for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving. Enjoy these stuffed peppers as a satisfying and elegant dinner option that’s both comforting and health-conscious.

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staffcontributor
prep time
20 minutes.
cooking time
45 minutes.
servings
4
total time
1 hour 5 minutes.

Equipment

  • Cutting board

  • Sharp knife

  • Large skillet

  • Baking dish

  • Aluminum foil

  • Wooden spoon

  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or green, or a mix for a colorful presentation)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) mushrooms, finely chopped

  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth

  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

1
Prepare bell peppers.
2
Sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms.
3
Create filling and stuff peppers.
4
Bake with tomato sauce.
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