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Mushroom-and-Spinach-Stuffed Peppers with Parmesan

Farmer John & Angelic Organics
The first time I made this for my boys, I cooked chicken on the side thinking they would never eat so many vegetables in one sitting - they ate every last bite and never even touched the chicken! This recipe has been a dinner mainstay every since.

Ingredients
  

  • 4 bell Peppers (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter - divided
  • 1 cup onion, minced (approx one large) - divided
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • ½ pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup celery (approx 2 ribs), finely diced
  • ¼ cup carrot (approx 1 small), finely diced
  • ¼ cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 handful spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350°

    Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil

    • Slice tops off peppers, remove seeds. When the water is boiling, add 1 tbsp salt then add the peppers and cook until almost soft - 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, remove the peppers from the water and place in a colander to cool, cut sides down. Reserve the cooking water.

    In a large skillet, over medium heat

    • Melt 2 tbsp butter. Add half the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the uncooked rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of the peppers' cooking water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and place a paper towel between the pot and the lid to absorb any remaining moisture.

    In a separate skillet over medium heat

    • Melt 2 tbsp butter. Add the remaining onions, mushrooms, celery, corn, spinach, ginger, garlic, and cayenne, saute until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

    Combine contents of both skillets

    • In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables and the rice mixture and half the Parmesan cheese. Add fresh pepper to taste.

    Fill and bake

    • Place the peppers in a glass 9" square baking dish. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spread the extra rice mixture around the peppers. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.