Transform your bell peppers into a satisfying snack. Dried apricots add a hint of sweetness to these tangy vegetables.

This recipe was voted a Top 5 in the GridIron Chef 2016 contest.
View all the Top 5 GridIron Chef 2016 recipes.

Total Preparation/Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (less if rice is cooked)
Serves: 12 (1 half pepper with filling per serving)

Ingredients

  • 6 medium red bell peppers
  • 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice (about 3 cups cooked)
  • 4 oz. apricots, dried
  • 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed (or canned low-sodium sweet peas)
  • 1 bunch of green scallions, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, lightly roasted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cumin & ground turmeric
  • Canola or olive oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Rinse 1 cup dry rice and drain. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of ground cumin & turmeric, and 1 teaspoon flax seeds. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. (Note: you can make the rice in advance or simply use the leftovers of your favorite brown rice).
  2. Rehydrate your dried apricots. Place the apricots in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes until plump, then strain and thinly slice them.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add yellow squash and green scallions, sauté for 3 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add cumin, pepper and salt to taste.
  4. Preheat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place peppers on their sides on the foil. Broil for 20 minutes, giving a quarter-turn every 5 minutes, until the peppers are medium-charred and soft. Allow peppers to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine rice, apricots, vegetables and parsley. With a paring knife, remove the top (stem end) of each pepper and remove the seeds (do not discard any of juices inside).
  6. Cut pepper in half and fill with rice mixture. Sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds. Serve warm. (Pepper may be left whole for a larger serving.)

Nutrition Facts | Stuffed Autumn Red Bell Peppers | GridIron Chef Contest