I debated on whether to use an Indian or a Mexican spice profile for this stuffed pepper recipe. If I try lentils in some shape or form in the future instead of black beans, I think I'll go Indian. Black beans surely say "Mexican" or "Tex-Mex" as the profile flavor. Onions and garlic also seem to be called for (in either case). I opted to omit rice because I really don't want rice in my stuffed veggies - this goes along with my distaste of "mushy rice" recipes.
Tex-Mex Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, Grain-Free, With Black Beans
- 1 can ( 15.5 oz / 440 g) black beans.
- 1 small onion (yellow, red or white) diced.
- 1 pear (anjou or bosc), de-pitted and diced.
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle (to preference)
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (aka, to preference).
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces + 1 ounce meltable cheese, chopped or shredded. (I used cheddar. Monterey Jack would also be appropriate, or a specifically-Mexican queso.)
- 2 bell peppers.
Stir frequently. Allow the excess liquid from the can of beans to evaporate, and the onion and pear to soften. The beans should be wet but not watery. This is 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Meanwhile, slice or grate the cheese, and prep the bell peppers, by opening and de-seeding. I made one as a whole bell, and the other as two separate boats - choose as you choose!
Mix about 3 ounces of cheese into the slightly-cooled bean stuffing. Having this cool will help keep the cheese in separate pieces rather than blend totally in. You'll keep more cheese flavor this way. Set the peppers out on an appropriate baking pan, making sure they don't topple over. (For a whole upright pepper, one can always add some foil around its base to keep it balanced.)
Stuff the peppers thoroughly. Then add some cheese atop each boat or whole pepper. Bake the boats for 35 minutes. Bake whole bell peppers for 45 minutes.
I'm saying this serves 2 to 4 people depending on how these are served, and with what you serve them.