Mexican Stuffed Vegetables
Our garden made a lot of squash this year, so in the process of trying to figure out what to do with it all, I came up with this recipe. It would work nicely to stuff onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, or almost any stuffable vegetable. The stuffing freezes well. After I made the stuffed squash, I had enough left over for at least one more meal.
Yield: 12 Ready in 45 minutes
87 people trying soon
|4 mediumsquash; see note * Or 8 small|
|1/2 cupRice; not instant|
|1 cupChicken broth or water|
|1 poundLean ground meat|
|1 mediumOnion; diced|
|1/2 red or greenBell pepper; diced|
|1 cloveGarlic; minced|
|1 8 ounceTomato sauce|
|1 teaspoonChili powder|
|1 teaspoonGround cumin|
|1 tablespoonBrown sugar|
|salt and pepper; to taste|
|Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese; to taste|
|Fresh Cilantro; for garnish - optional|
Mexican Stuffed Vegetables Preparation
Prepare the squash according to the directions in the notes below. Bring the water or chicken broth to a boil in a small lidded sauce pan. Add the rice, stir, and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Meanwhile, brown the meat in a large skillet, breaking it up with a spoon as it browns. Roughly chop the necks of the squash*. When the meat is almost brown, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and squash necks to the skillet. Cook the vegetables with the meat until they have softened a little and the meat has browned completely. Preheat the oven to 350. Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar to the meat mixture, stirring to mix well. Add the cooked rice and simmer 4-5 minutes, mixing the rice with the other ingredients. If it seems dry, add a little water. Remove from heat. Spoon the meat mixture into the squash halves (or whatever veggie you''re stuffing). Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and return the dish to the oven uncovered for five minutes.
*You can use any vegetable, but when using squash, chop their little necks off and set them aside - you are going to use them in the stuffing. Half the squash lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice a thin slice from the bottom on the skin side of each half to make the squash set level in the pan. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray, and arrange the squash in the baking dish, skin side down. Salt and pepper each half and set aside until ready to fill.
If you aren't stuffing squash, I think frozen whole kernel corn would go nicely in place of the squash necks. This recipe can be very versitile. You could add Italian spices instead of chili powder and cumin, and use spaghetti sauce in place of the tomato sauce.
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