Vegetarian Stuffed Green Peppers: A Fusion Dish, with Variations

I was feeling creative the other day and put together the following dish. The family gave it a thumbs up, so I thought I would share it with you. It's pretty quick & easy, which is the kind of recipe I like.

Stem & core 6 large green peppers. Rub salt & oil on them, outside and inside. Microwave on high about 8 minutes, more if you want them softer. While this is happening, you can make the filling.

Heat oven to 400 F.

Filling: In large bowl, mash together: 1 can black beans (with theliquid) and 6 slices of whole wheat bread. (In my house. no one likes to eat the end slices, so I used them for this). Add 1/2 cup salsa (or more or less, depending on how spicy you want it). Optional: Add 1/2 t of cumin powder. Add salt to taste.

Stuff peppers with filling; top with grated cheese. (I use a Mexican blend cheese).  Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is melted & golden.

It's a pretty complete balanced meal in itself, but if you want you can serve it with your favorite rice or pasta casserole, a green salad and fruit-topped flavored yogurt.

Variation: The boys devoured these & wanted more, and I was out of green peppers, so I made stuffed zucchini with the same filling. I sliced 4 zucchinis lengthwise, rubbed oil & salt all over them, and microwaved them for about 15 minutes. I scraped out the insides of the zucchinis, mashed and added them into the filling recipe above, added a bit of salt & black pepper, stuffed the hollowed-out zucchini halves, topped them with cheese as above, and baked at 400F for 35 minutes.

If you try these, do let me know how yours turned out.