Post and recipe contributed by Katrina Kairys
Even though you can buy bell peppers year-round, they’re at their peak at this time of year. (Fun fact: All peppers start out green and change colour when they ripen on the vine.) They’re also most abundant in the fall, evident from the bins and bins full of them at every stand at the McGill Farmers’ Market. Peppers are also packed full of nutrients, having more than twice the amount of vitamin C than an orange, and high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
I had leftover rice and didn’t want to make another stir-fry, so I decided to stuff some peppers. This recipe combines the rich and spicy flavours of a Bloody Mary using fresh ingredients – no pre-fab Blood Mary mix allowed! These little guys are very filling thanks to the whole-grain rice and veggies full of fibre. If you’re a meat eater, feel free to add some ground meat or chopped shrimp to the filling. A very decadent addition would be bacon bits.
Bloody Mary Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
2 bell peppers (any colour)
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 large carrot, finely grated
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup cooked wild rice (I used Lundberg Wild Blend)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
a pinch of cayenne pepper (or more, depending how hot you like it!)
a pinch of celery salt (optional)
1. Heat oven to 400F. Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds.
2. Put pepper halves round side down on a greased baking sheet. Place peppers in oven, roasting for about 15 minutes, until they get slightly blackened on the bottom. (This gives a great barbeque-y taste.) Remove from oven and let sit. Turn oven down to 350F.
3. Cook onion and celery in a pan on medium-high for 10 minutes until onion starts turning translucent.
4. Add grated carrot and chopped spinach, cooking for another 10 minutes.
5. In a small bowl mix tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper, and celery salt.
6. Add rice and sauce to pan. Let cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
7. Scoop mixture into pepper halves until they’re filled to the top. Place peppers round side down into a greased baking dish and cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes.
"My interest in cooking began with a goal to eat healthy and use clean (and pronounceable) ingredients. After months of steamed veggies and chicken I got bored quickly. I started visiting Montreal's local markets and learned what a spice rack was. Montreal has turned me into foodie extraordinaire, and I now experiment with vegan, paleo, and gluten free recipes that pack tons of flavour. Mind you, I'll add the occasional slice of butter or full-fat cheese to my recipes, but I'll warn you beforehand!" - Katrina