TexMex Stuffed Peppers

A southwestern suprise for a familiar favorite

8 large green sweet peppers
t salt, divided t and t
1 t ground black pepper
3 C cooked brown rice
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 11 oz can corn, Mexican-style or regular, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 4-oz can chopped green chiles
t liquid smoke
t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1 t garlic powder)
C (2 ounces) non-fat Monterey Jack and Jalapeno soy cheese, shredded
Jalapeno pepper slices for garnish (optional)

Cut a plug from stem end of each green pepper, remove seeds and white membranes, rinse. Cover peppers 5 minutes in boiling water, drain. Mixing t salt with 1 t black pepper and 1 t onion powder, season inside of peppers with 1/8 of the mixure, set aside. Combine rice, beans, corn, onion, chiles, liquid smoke, cumin and remaining t salt. Spoon 1 C rice mixture into each pepper; stand upright in 13x9-inch baking pan. Cover pan with foil; bake at 350 F. 20 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle peppers with cheese. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with jalapeno pepper slices if desired.

Microwave method:
Prepare peppers as abovve. Season with salt, pepper and onion powder mixture as above; set upside down on a paper towel to drain. Combine rice, corn, onion, chiles, liquid smoke, cumin and t salt in 13x9-inch casserole. Cook on high 2 minutes. Spoon 1 cup mixture into each pepper, place them back in cassserole. Put inch water in bottom of dish. Cover with a paper towel or a microwave splatter guard. Microwave on medium 7 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top of each pepper. Microwave on high 1 minute. Garnish with jalapeno pepper slices if desired. Note: microwave oven times may vary - the times above are for a 900 watt oven.

8 servings, each 152 calories: 5% from fat (0.88 g), 71% from carbohydrates (28.8 g), 24% from protein (9.7 g). Sodium 475 mg (see Hint), Fiber 6.3 g.

Healing Heart Hint

For a nutty texture and taste without adding fat, add a cup of roasted chestnut pieces. Most nuts are very high in fat, as much as 85% of calories, but chestnuts are only about 2%. They can be used instead of walnuts, pecans and almonds in many recipes. When chestnuts are available, usually from October to December, cut an X in each chestnut on the flat side and roast in the oven for mm minutes at ddd degrees F, or until they are done.

The sodium content can be cut in half (276 mg) by omitting the t of salt in the recipe.

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©2000 Dr. Neal Pinckney Healing Heart Foundation