These Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers are simply divine. The peppers are lightly roasted before filling them with hearty black rice and they are topped with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pecorino and fresh basil. The combination is intoxicating, especially after they are drizzled with a lovely fresh basil sauce. These are perfect as a main entree or as a side dish.
Last night I wanted to watch a certain show but I couldn’t remember the name of it for the life of me. I searched my whole list on Netflix, but I couldn’t find it. I was a bit frustrated because I wanted something funny to watch but I thought to myself, “just let it go!” I noticed that I had way too many shows on my watch list, so I decided that I should delete some! As soon as I deleted the first show, the show I wanted to find so badly popped up right in front of my eyes. It was the show called “New Girl”.
These kinds of things seem to happen to me all the time. Have you ever experienced anything like this before? Here is another example.
Many years ago, my mom and I were traveling in Greece with her boyfriend at the time. He wanted to be alone with my mom and wanted me to go travel on my own. At first, I was like, what? There is no way that I’m traveling alone! But then I remembered that my close friend Maggie was going to school in London. We had talked about me coming to visit her but we had never made any real plans. There were no cell phones at the time but I knew that spring break was coming up and she planned to travel around Europe during her break. I tried to get ahold of her but I wasn’t able to so I just decided to go for it and flew from Greece to London in hopes that I would be able to find her.
So when I got off the plane, I asked someone which bus to take to get me to her school and headed on my way to hopefully meet up with her. The bus stop was about 5 blocks from her school so I had to walk the rest of the way. I had a large travel pack on my back with a small backpack in the front and a heavy medium-large duffle bag that I was holding on my forearms in front of me. It was pretty crazy!
I finally arrived at Maggie’s school and asked the guy at the front desk where her dorm was. Well, I found out that she was living off campus in an apartment. They had no idea where she lived and I was devastated! I went over to a nearby couch and sat down and racked my brain on what was I going to do now.
A few minutes had passed and a girl looked at me and said, “are you Maggie’s friend Stephanie”? My eyes opened up wide and my jaw dropped. I said, “how in the heck did you know it was me?” she said “well, you guys look and dress alike and both of you wear tons of jewelry. She introduced herself, “Hi I’m Kate, Maggie’s roommate”. You can’t imagine my relief and disbelief. Kate then said, “come with me and I’ll bring you to Maggie”. She was literally just down the hall from where I was sitting.
I opened the door and popped my head in and just stared at her until she finally looked up. When she looked up, the look on her face was priceless. We went back over to the couch that I was previously sitting on and I started to give her the presents that I had bought for her on my travels in Asia. I handed her the first one and she loved it. At first, I acted as if that was it but then I pulled out another gift. I did this about 10 times. I had so much fun with it and Maggie was very stoked, to say the least.
I have been intrigued by situations like this my whole life. Life can sometimes be scary but if let go of the outcome, amazing things can happen.
These little gems go great with a Pinot Gris, Suave or a Prosecco.
- 5 Small to Medium Red Bell Peppers – roasted – deseeded – cut in half
- Black Rice – recipe below
- 10 Large Leaves of Fresh Basil – roughly torn
- 1 Container Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls – quartered
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes – quartered
- 1 Cup Pecorino Romano – finely grated – or to taste
- Basil Sauce – recipe below
- 1/2 Cup Forbidden Black Rice
- 3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Filtered Water
- 1 Small Garlic Clove (Optional)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
- 1 1/2 Cup Basil
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
- Basil Sauce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh Basil
*I adapted this recipe from my Black Rice Caprese Casserole
Measure rice and water and put into a small saucepan preferably with a glass lid.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise making sure to cut through the stems to leave them attached. Remove the seeds and sprinkle the insides with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the peppers cut-side down and bake for 10 minutes on the upper third rack then move to top rack for 10 more minutes. Turn the peppers over to let the steam out and cool a bit.
Place the basil, oil and salt into a food processor or blender and puree.
Place the peppers in a baking dish and fill them with about a tablespoon of the rice then place a basil leaf or two on top. Add a little more rice then top with one tomato that has been quartered and a mozzarella ball that has also been quartered. Push the tomatoes and mozzarella in as best you can. Top with the pecorino and place a quarter of a mozzarella ball on top. Bake until the cheese is melted. About 15 – 20 minutes.
Red Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature. They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers. They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E. They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain. They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.
Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zeaxanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease. It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver. It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to your water or tea.