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I decided to try out my pressure cooker tonight – and I’m glad I did.  Not only was the result delicious, I enjoyed the fact that there were no pots and pans to clean!  I cooked my peppers in two steps: first the rice, then the peppers stuffed with the rice.  A quick wipe out of the pressure cooker pot between steps was all it took.

Just a quick note about bell peppers: if you can, always buy organic. There are some fruits and vegetables that carry more than their share of pesticides and bell peppers are one of them (along with apples, berries, lettuces, celery and potatoes).

As for pressure cookers – if you don’t have one, don’t worry.  I’ll give you steps to prepare them without.

Stuffed Peppers 

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 tsp olive oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 8 small cremini (or other) mushroom, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • nutritional yeast (optional)

Preparation (pressure cooker method):

Cut tops off of peppers and hollow out – removing seeds and veins.  Put peppers aside.  Take tops of 2 peppers and chop fine.

Put pressure cooker on browning cycle. Heat oil and add onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring often, until onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the dry rice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off browning and add minced garlic, stirring well.

Add tomato sauce, water and poultry seasoning to the pressure cooker and stir well. Close the pressure cooker, set on high.  Once maximum pressure is reached, cook rice mixture for 20 minutes.  Release pressure.

Put 1/4 of rice mixture into each pepper.  Rinse out pressure cooker pot.

Put 1.5 cups of water into pressure cooker pot and place a steamer basket or insert into the pressure cooker.  Place peppers in steamer basket.  Close the pressure cooker and set on high.  Once maximum pressure is reached, cook for 10 minutes.  Release pressure.

Remove peppers from steamer carefully (I used tongs), sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast and enjoy!

Preparation (without pressure cooker):

Hollow out peppers (removing seeds and veins).  Take 2 pepper tops and chop fine.  Steam pepper “shells” over boiling water for 10 minutes.  Remove from steamer and set aside.

Cook brown rice according to directions (normally 1 part rice to 2 parts water, simmered for about 30-40 minutes), but use 1/2 water and 1/2 tomato sauce.  

While rice is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, carrot, celery, mushroom and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions become translucent and carrots begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.  Turn off heat and add minced garlic, stirring well. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When rice is finished cooking, add onion mixture and stir well. Stuff steamed peppers with rice mixture. Place peppers in an oven proof casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

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