MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 09/20/12 -- (Family Features) Cooking a satisfying supper that won't break the bank may seem like a stretch -- especially considering rising food costs and a struggling economy -- but with the right ingredients, affordable family meals are possible. With a little planning, recipes like these delicious Southwestern Stuffed Peppers are as easy to make as they are on the wallet.
Pick the Peppers
Yellow, orange, red and green bell peppers - use your favorite or try a combination of different colors for a vibrant presentation. Split lengthwise, the pepper halves are perfectly portioned for the simple southwestern stuffing.
Prep and Pack Peppers
A can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad saves a prep step. Chili powder, lime and garlic, with a hint of heat, season this two-bean, corn and pepper blend. Paired with a ground beef and onion stuffing mixture, it definitely takes traditional stuffed peppers to a new level. A sprinkle of cheese and a dash of crushed tortilla chips add a cheesy-crunchy finish.
Heat and Eat
Just bake until the peppers are tender and serve. For a real fiesta, offer sides of Mexican rice or heated corn tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream. This Tex-Mex version of stuffed peppers is perfect for casual Sunday night dinners.
For other great recipes made with READ salads, visit www.readsalads.com.
Southwestern Bean Salad Stuffed PeppersPreparation Time: 20 minutesBaking Time: 25 minutesMakes: 6 servings1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad1 teaspoon ground cumin1 small jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)1/2 pound lean ground beef (90 percent lean)1/2 cup chopped onion3 large bell peppers, any color or a combination1 cup crushed tortilla chips1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips (optional)
1. Drain bean salad; discard liquid. With fork, mash half of beans until chunky. Combine with remaining beans. Stir in cumin and jalapeño, if desired; set aside.
2. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion 8 to 10 minutes, until ground beef is completely cooked, stirring frequently.
3. Meanwhile, cut bell peppers lengthwise in half. Remove membranes and seeds. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray (or brush lightly with vegetable oil).
4. Combine ground beef-onion mixture with bean mixture. Stir in tortilla chips and 1/2 cup cheese. Divide evenly among peppers. Arrange peppers cut side up in prepared pan; peppers should fit snugly in pan. Top with 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips, if desired. Bake, covered, in preheated 350 degrees F oven 25 minutes or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, until cheese melts.
Nutrition information per serving (1/6 of recipe): 252 calories; 15 g protein;
20 g carbohydrate; 13 g fat; 367 mg sodium; 41 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber;
9 mg iron; 0.07 mg thiamin; 708 IU vitamin A; 34 mg vitamin C.
Variation: Ground chicken or turkey breast may be substituted for ground beef. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to skillet and heat until hot before adding ground chicken or turkey and onion to skillet.
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