Spicy Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers

1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1 & 1/2 TBSP coconut oil, butter, or ghee
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 tsp pure salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp dried basil
2 TBSP sunflower seeds
several dashes of cayenne (optional)
4 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise & seeded

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cook rice according to package directions.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute the onion, carrot & celery for a few mins, stirring regularly.
  • Mix in spices and sunflower seeds, and cook another few mins.
  • Add cooked rice and saute for 3 or 4 mins more, stirring constantly (so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom & burn).
  • Place the peppers in a baking dish (9×13 pyrex works well), and fill with heaping amounts of stuffing.
  • Fill the bottom of the baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake until the stuffing is slightly browned & the peppers tender, but still a little crisp – about 20 – 25 mins.

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SIDE NOTES:

~ Shooting the onions/carrots/celery through the food processor’s chopping or grating blades works well if you’re short on time or just not in the mood to chop.

~ Can also use this as a stuffing for acorn squash, and as a matter of fact, the stuffing is actually great on its own as a side dish.

[box] For those with various food restrictions, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Raw

If eating dairy free, use coconut oil instead of butter.[/box]


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Acorn Squash w/ Wild Rice Stuffing

3 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 to 3 TBSP melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves (or shallots), finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 TBSP minced fresh thyme leaves (or use 1 tsp dried dried)
2 cups cooked wild rice
2/3 cup pecans, toasted* and chopped (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, (optional)
1 tsp pure salt
freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Place squash cut side down, in a baking pan filled with 1/4 inch hot water.
  • Bake 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter (or oil) in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic (or shallots), and celery, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir to coat.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in thyme and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries (if using), salt, and pepper.
  • Drain water from squash pan, turn squash over, and divide the rice filling among the squash halves.
  • Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of butter (or oil) over top.
  • Return pan to oven, and continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

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SIDE NOTES:

~ Adapted from chow.com

~ To toast the pecans, add to dry skillet over medium low heat, and cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes until aromatic (they burn easily so watch them carefully). Remove from pan immediately to cool.

~ I like “Lundberg Wild Rice Blend” (1 cup uncooked makes approx 2 cups cooked)

~ When you drizzle the melted butter over the squash filling, it’s extra good if you also brush some on the exposed squash area (can just use the back of a spoon to spread it). Keeps the squash nice & moist as it bakes.

~ Another way to make a tasty stuffed squash (maybe more kid friendly if your little ones don’t like onions, celery…etc) is as follows….. After the squash bakes face down in water for 30 mins, drain water, turn squash over, scoop out the flesh of the squash and place in a separate bowl. Mash the squash flesh with melted butter (or oil), cinnamon, sea salt and nutmeg. Fill hollowed squash halves with squash mixture, return to oven, and bake for another 20 – 30 mins, until done. Adjust seasoning to taste. Also, see APPLE-STUFFED-ACORN-SQUASH for a sweeter version of stuffed squash.

[box] For those with various food restrictions, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Raw

If eating dairy free, use coconut oil instead of butter.  If avoiding nuts, omit the pecans (can substitute sunflower seeds if desired).  If eating sugar free, omit the dried cranberries.[/box]


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Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash, halved & seeded
3 cups peeled, cubed apples (about 3 apples)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 TBSP natural sugar
2 TBSP raisins
2 TBSP butter, coconut oil or ghee, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Place squash cut side down, in a baking pan filled 1/4 inch high with hot water.
  • Bake 30 mins.
  • While squash is baking, in a large bowl, toss together all other ingredients.
  • Remove pan from oven & discard the water.
  • Place squash cut side up & fill each half with apple mixture.
  • Bake 30 mins longer.

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SIDE NOTES:

~ Remember to peel the apples before chopping. I forgot once & had to take the skin off of every little cube – was annoying!

~ If you buy raisins in individual boxes, one 1.5 oz box is just right.

~ I usually make RED-LENTIL-PUREE to go along w/ this. It’s a good combo.

~  For a more savory version of stuffed squash, click HERE.

[box] For those avoiding certain foods, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Raw

If eating dairy free use coconut oil instead of butter.  If avoiding nuts, omit the walnuts (can substitute sunflower seeds if you’d like).  If eating sugar free, use lakanto instead of sugar.[/box]


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