Saturday, January 9, 2016

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers

This week I jumped right in to exercising and eating healthy so that I could get rid of some of that baggage that comes along with fudge, cookies, hot cocoa, scones, ice cream cake, and everything else that is good. This was one of the new recipes I tried and I LOVED it! The only change I made from the original was adding a little extra cheese. :) BUT if you are a real stickler you can even leave the cheese off and it'll still be great. If you're a fan of quinoa, you can use it as a substitute for the brown rice. I had a little bit of leftover filling that didn't fit in the peppers and 2 of my kids ate it in tortillas. So if you're making this hoping your kids will eat it too, tortillas might be a good option.

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers
adapted from
3/4 cup dry brown rice (2 cups cooked)
5 medium red, yellow, orange or green bell peppers
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSPs canola oil, divided
1 lb chicken, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tsp chili powder, divided
1 tsp ground cumin, divided
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chiles
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
3 TBSPs fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
Sour cream, optional
Mexican Style Hot Sauce. optional

1. Prepare brown rice according to directions listed on package.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut peppers in half lengthwise (through stem), seed and de-vein, then boil 4 - 5 minutes (fully immersing them in the water), just until tender. Drain well and place in baking pans, set aside.
3. Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large and deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until golden about 5 minutes, then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer, transfer onion mixture to a plate; set aside.
4. Using the same skillet, heat remaining 1 TBSP oil, add chicken, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add cooked brown rice, onion mixture, tomatoes, black beans, corn, remaining 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, cilantro, lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook just until heated through.
6. Fill each pepper half with a heaping 1/2 cup of the mixture, pressing slightly to fit. Pour enough water into bottom of baking dishes to reach 1/8-inch in height (careful not to pour it in peppers).
7. Cover baking dishes with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes, until peppers are soft. Remove from oven, sprinkle tops evenly with cheese then return to oven to bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes longer.

Serve warm topped with more cilantro, sour cream and hot sauce if desired.