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At the tail-end of garden season I found myself with a late crop of beautiful red & green bell peppers.  Seeing as how I NEVER have any luck with peppers; I felt I needed to take advantage of this unexpected gift from Mother Nature!  Also, I absolutely HATE wasting food unless it’s unavoidable or unintended.  I created this recipe from “taco night” leftovers and my garden peppers.  I also made a fresh salsa verde with the plentitude of green tomatoes left in the garden which is much healthier than “fried green tomatoes!”

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

*Large Bell Peppers (any color, but bigger, the better), tops cut off & seeded (save tops if you like them for presentation, or chop them up and add to mix))

*Taco Meat (whatever you use for your tacos: ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, meat substitute, etc…)

*Spanish Rice (according to box directions)

*Any garnish you want to throw in from leftover tacos (black olives, cilantro, tomatoes, corn, black beans, jalapenos, etc…)

*Cheese (sharp cheddar, jalapeno-jack, mozzarella or queso blanco)

*Tomatillo Sauce or Salsa Verde (recipe follows)

Mix the leftover taco meat, rice & leftover garnishes (except lettuce!).  Fill peppers almost full, but leave enough room for cheese.  (Tip:  you really want to fully stuff them, spoon in filling and pack down with spoon, repeat) Also, if you’re feeling very “cheesy”, add cheese halfway through stuffing and again on top.  Place in baking dish large enough to fit all the peppers you are using; you want them to be a little snug so they don’t fall over while cooking.  Top each pepper with cheese.  Spoon salsa verde or tomatillo sauce around and over peppers (this will create a sauce as well as flavor the peppers.  Top with a little more cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min or so uncovered.  You want the cheese to brown a little; but if they start to brown too much, place a foil “tent” over baking dish and continue to bake until peppers are desired texture and mixture it completely heated through.

Serve with mashed potatoes, creamy polenta (more carbs!!), grilled potatoes, black bean salad, sliced ripe tomatoes, etc…

Salsa Verde

(This is one recipe which I usually make more of, or adjust to the amount of tomatoes I have)

6 green tomatoes, cored and chopped coarsely

1 lg jalapeno, seeded and diced (leave seeds if you like it hot!)

6 green onions, chopped

1 ½ Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs lime juice or red wine vinegar (or I like combo of both)

¼ c. white onion

Kosher salt & pepper to taste

Combine and leave at room temp. for a couple of hours, then refrigerate if not using right away.  Can be made ahead of time & also great w/tortilla chips!

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