We’ve reached that point in the summer when our garden is starting to overflow with tomatoes and peppers. Just about every meal now has peppers and/or tomatoes in a dish or a salad, and in a few weeks I’ll have to start preserving the extras. Right now I’m picking the peppers as soon as they are full-sized, even if they are still green. I adore seeing the red, yellow, and orange peppers on the plants as they mature, but early in the season I’m all about encouraging the plants to produce more, so I pick a little early.
And just like the garden, our refrigerator often overflows with leftovers, and that’s when I start stuffing things, like these grilled bell peppers. I combine leftover brown rice with leftover Spicy Mexican Black Beans, stir it all up with some cilantro and salsa or chopped tomatoes, then stuff some peppers. A little grated sharp cheddar on top adds a nice touch of flavor and keeps the top of the filling from drying out in the grill. Of course you can do these in the oven instead, but why heat up the kitchen on a hot day? Our oven takes forever to heat up, but on a hot summer day our gas grill is ready in about 5 minutes. I just put the peppers on a lightly greased foil pie pan and use the indirect grilling method. Easy and fast.
We like these peppers with sharp cheddar cheese, but Monterrey Jack or Colby would be just as good. Both have a small amount of lactose, less than 0.1 grams of lactose per ounce of cheese, so are good for people with lactose intolerance. Plus all the rice and beans help slow digestion and allow our bodies more time to digest the lactose. Milk, cheese, and yogurt provide a number of important nutrients, including calcium, Vitamin D, protein, and other vitamins. Try a little and figure our what works for you.
You can find more recipes for lactose intolerance through the links below.
Choose peppers that can stand up on their own without tipping over, usually the kind with four lobes, otherwise the filling will fall over the pan. Precook the peppers in the microwave for just a few minutes to soften them up a bit, and it will save about 15 extra grill minutes.
The recipe is easy to adjust for more servings, just allow ½ cup rice and ½ cup beans per serving, and adjust the rest to taste.
Vegetarian Grilled Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
- large plate
- medium bowl
- foil pie pan, lightly coated with cooking spray
- 2 cups prepared Spicy Mexican Black Beans
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 4 medium or large bell peppers
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup prepared salsa (or 1 medium tomato, chopped)
- sea salt (to taste)
- grated sharp reduced-fat cheddar cheese (or vegan option)
- Preheat the grill for indirect grilling according to your manufacturers directions.
- Slice the tops off the bell peppers, and remove the seeds and veins. Chop the tops and save them for another use. Turn the peppers upside-down on the large plate and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes. The peppers should be slightly soft, but not mushy.
- In the medium bowl, stir together the beans, brown rice, cilantro, and salsa. Season with salt. Stand the peppers up in the prepared pie pan. Spoon the filling into the peppers, filling them just past the top edge. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of grated sharp reduced-fat cheddar cheese on top of each filled pepper.
- Place the pan of peppers over a grill grate that is not heated, as for indirect grilling. Close the lid and allow to cook until the cheese is melted and the pepper skins are a little wrinkled, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 2 minutes, then serve.
More Recipes for Lactose Intolerance
[Disclosure: I am an ambassador for the National Dairy Council Beyond Lactose Intolerance awareness campaign.]