Taco Stuffed Peppers with Spanish Rice
4-5 bell peppers
1 (6 ounce) box Spanish rice (I use Rice-A-Roni Spanish rice)
4 tablespoons oil, divided
1 small to medium white or yellow onion, sliced or diced, divided
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 small can (4 ounces) roasted green chiles
1 (12 ounce) package burger-style crumbles
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (26 ounce) jar salsa
tortilla chips, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice peppers in half vertically and pull out core, tapping out seeds. Pile peppers in an aluminum foil pouch (seal tightly) and place in oven. Even if the oven is not yet preheated, this greatly reduces cooking time once peppers are stuffed.
2. On your back burner, start the rice using vegetable oil in place of the vegan margarine. Add about 1/4 of the onion. Stir mixture without stopping to ensure proper browning. Add water as directed, but use the stewed tomatoes instead of plain (you may want to cut them smaller before adding, but don't drain them.) Add chiles and cook as directed.
3. As the rice cooks, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet. Add remaining onion and sauté for a minute or two. Add beef and cook until heated through. Add taco seasoning per instructions. Heat the beans. You can heat them on the stove but I just microwave them.
4. Line a pan (or two, doesn't matter what size, glass or metal, but don't use a cooking sheet) with aluminum foil and arrange pepper halves like little bowls. Layer in taco meat, refried beans, and salsa. Proportions are up to you, but make sure the top layer is salsa so they don't dry out. 5. Cover tightly with foil and return to oven. Bake 20-40 minutes or until tender (this will depend on how long they have already cooked and their color; greens get done faster than reds, use separate pans when doing green and red together).
I know stuffed peppers are usually stuffed with rice, but I prefer having it as a side because it creates an entire meal rather than just an entree. Serve with rice, more salsa and chips.