Peppers for two, stuffed with broccoli and beans

Detroit Free PressJuly 8, 2014 

FOOD STUFFEDPEPPERS DE

ANDRE J. JACKSON/DETROIT FREE PRESSPeppers Stuffed with Broccoli and Beans can help you keep an eye on calories, fat and carbohydrates.

ANDRE J. JACKSON — MCT

Cooking for two is not always easy, especially when you're keeping an eye on calories, fat and even carbohydrates.

But today's easy stuffed pepper recipe is just the ticket. It's also diabetes-friendly and vegetarian.

The dish is quick to make, low in calories and fat and provides 9 grams of fiber per serving. Any dish that contains 5 grams or more of fiber per serving is considered an excellent source of fiber.

In this recipe, a good portion of the fiber comes from the brown rice -- a whole grain. Since brown rice takes longer to cook, it's a good idea to cook up a big batch to use throughout the week, or you could freeze it. If you don't have leftover brown rice, use instant brown rice as suggested in the recipe. Instant is great if you're in a hurry because it cooks in 10 minutes. And if you have the time, you can use an alternative whole grain such as quinoa or farro. Quinoa takes about 20 minutes to cook, farro longer.

For today's recipe, you can use any color pepper. Red, orange or yellow peppers make for a nice presentation and the peppers also are sweeter.

PEPPERS STUFFED WITH BROCCOLI AND BEANS

2 large bell peppers, any color, cut in half lengthwise and seeded

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice

1 cup chopped fresh broccoli

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 cup canned red beans, drained and rinsed well

1/3 cup favorite chunky-style salsa

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

In a microwavable dish, place the peppers cut sides down. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, folding back one edge1/4 inch to vent the steam. Microwave on high about 4 minutes or until just tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the water to boiling. Stir in the rice, broccoli and onion. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Stir in the beans and salsa.

Spoon the hot rice mixture into the pepper halves. Place, filled sides up, in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap, folding back one edge about1/4 inch to vent steam. Microwave about 1 minute or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with cilantro and let stand 1 to 2 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition: 242 calories (16 percent from fat), 4 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 41 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 466 milligrams sodium, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 179 milligrams calcium, 9 grams fiber.

-- From "Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes" by the editors at Betty Crocker (Wiley, $19.95)

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