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CHIPOTLE BEEF STUFFED PEPPERS

I won't lie; I am not a "beef" person. However, sometimes I crave it, and when that happens, it either involves a Southwestern flair or a steak. This recipe is (obviously) the former. But you don't have to use beef when you make this delicious number; you can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or your favorite meatless mince. It's all good.


The flavor of the juicy peppers with the chipotle-seasoned meat and layers of melty cheese makes for a completely satisfying meal. One pepper per person as a main, or half of a pepper as a side. I like green bell peppers, but any color that floats your boat... If you don't have or can't find chipotle seasoning, see my TIPS at the bottom for a basic recipe.


*Recipe can be made vegetarian/vegan using meatless mince and vegan cheese.




Notes:


CHIPOTLE BEEF STUFFED PEPPERS

Ingredients: 2 medium to large green bell peppers, 1 pound ground beef, 2 tbsp. tomato paste, 1 minced shallot, 2 tbsp. water, 1 1/2 tbsp. chipotle seasoning, sea salt and pepper, 1 tbsp. garlic-infused olive oil, 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexi-blend cheese, broken corn chips, chopped green onion (optional).


Serves 2-4.


1. Make the Chipotle Beef: Brown the beef (or other ground meat) in a skillet pan over medium heat until almost done (a trace of pink remains, and the meat is still soft). Drain. Add the minced shallot, tomato paste, and chipotle seasoning. Stir, adding the water, until done. Set aside to cool slightly. (You can also make the meat up to two days ahead.)


2. Prep and Stuff: Preheat the oven to 375*F. Slice the pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the inside of the pepper halves with garlic-infused olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Place the halves into a baking dish. Stuff the peppers in this order: a little cheese, some meat, a little more cheese, a little more meat. Finish with a layer of "nachos"--top with broken corn chips and more cheese.


3. Bake and finish: Bake the peppers uncovered for 30-35 minutes, but lay over a piece of foil at the 15-minute mark. This keeps the cheese from getting overly brown. Alternatively, start them covered with foil, then remove it for the last 15 minutes. Serve with chopped green onion over the top.


TIPS


Make your own Chipotle seasoning: Mix together the ingredients below and store them in an air-tight container.


2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tbsp. crushed chipotle pepper

2 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. ground oregano

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. sea salt






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