Late summer / early fall bring the last of the seasons fresh tomatoes and peppers. As the weather starts to turn and the first cool days arrive I start craving soups, stews, and all the warm cozy dishes that seem best served on a cloudy autumn day. Stuffed peppers is a dish that my mother would make maybe once a year or so when I was growing up. It was certainly not in the regular rotation, but it was something I enjoyed once in awhile and found myself craving as the seasons changed this year. Mom’s version was stuffed with ground beef and rice and baked in a casserole with Campbell’s tomato soup. I couldn’t decide how I would recreate the dish to meet my current dietary lifestyle; after some research decided to just keep it simple and go with what I knew I loved…beet balls.
I made a batch of beet balls and cooked 1 cup of dry brown rice. To make the peppers a little softer, I decided to roast them in the oven briefly before stuffing. I removed the tops and seeds and roasted them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping them once after 10 minutes. I’ve seen some recipes blanch the peppers in water instead of roasting but I thought roasting would bring out the flavor more. I did these steps in advance, and put everything in the refrigerator until I was ready to proceed the next day.
To prepare the stuffed peppers, crumble the beet balls by hand and mix with the brown rice. I added 1 teaspoon, granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Instead of tomato soup, I mixed in one jar of tomato sauce to finish off the stuffing. Finally, stuff the prepared peppers.
Line a casserole dish with some tomato sauce, add the stuffed peppers and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. To finish, I topped with nut parm