Leftover Hack: Stuffed Peppers

According to United Nations Environment Programme, 30-40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month. So in celebration of World Food Day (held annually on October 16th), we are sharing one of our favorite ways to turn leftovers into a delicious second meal.

Peppers are an inexpensive and plentiful vegetable option and make a wonderful vessel for stuffing. In addition, peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, which help prevent cell damage, cancer, and diseases related to aging, support immune function, and inflammation caused by arthritis and asthma. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps prevent cell damage.

5-6 large peppers (bell, poblano, Anaheim)
4 cups leftover cooked grains and/or vegetables
1-2 cups sauce (optional)
1 cup grated cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Prepare the peppers by cutting the stem out creating a bowl shape. Remove all seeds and membranes from the peppers. You can reserve the tops for decoration if you choose.

Prepare your filling. The best fillings are leftover rice dishes like jambalaya, paella, quinoa, couscous, or farro which can be stretched with leftover vegetables like potatoes, squash, corn, beans, etc.

Fill the peppers with your leftovers being careful not to overstuff them. Place the stuffed peppers in a greased baking dish. If you have leftover tomato sauce, gravy or even soup, you can ladle ¼ cup over each pepper and sprinkle the top with some grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, feta, goat cheese or Parmesan) if you so choose. The sauce and cheese are not necessary, but  are another way to punch up your dish.

Bake the peppers on the middle rack of your oven until the peppers are tender and browning and the filling is heated completely through, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow peppers to cool before serving with a simple fresh salad.

Celebrate World Food Day by toasting to the farmers that work hard every day to ensure that our food is grown with care and is healthy for us to eat and post a picture of yourself with your glass raised and include a personalized toast as your status or tweet on Facebook or Twitter with #ToastAFarmer and #WFD2015. And, continue to look for more easy and fun tips to prevent food waste at home.