Until my 20’s, bell peppers and I were far, far, far from fast friends. I viewed the crunchy, green orbital vegetables with a look of disdain whenever they appeared on pizzas or veggie platter plates and as a kid, wrinkled my nose and plotted how to ditch every single bite in a napkin when my mom served them up for dinner.
But just like taking leisurely car rides on a Sunday afternoon, reading novels with long words you finally understand but now need readers to see, and taking hot baths (give me a tub every night of the week!), eating the food you hated as a kid suddenly becomes not. that. bad. as an adult. And sometimes, even really, really good.
And whenever I can serve a meal in its own vessel, it’s bonus time. Enter, stuffed bell peppers.
6 medium green peppers
1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 (6 7/8 ounce) box of Rice-a-Roni mix, Spanish flavor
1 (16 ounces) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes (for use in making the rice)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or 1 cup American cheese
Remove tops and seeds from peppers; parboil peppers for 5 minutes and drain. Place peppers in a baking dish. Combine ground beef and onion and cook together until done. Drain and set aside.
Prepare Rice-A-Roni according to package directions. When rice is done, combine it with the beef and onion. Fill peppers with rice mixture.
Mix the 1 teaspoons sugar with the tomato sauce and pour this AROUND the peppers (not over).
Cover the baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes and then uncover and top with the shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 5 minutes more to melt the cheese. Serve with the tomato sauce.