Bell Peppers Stuffed with Black Beans and Sweet Corn Salsa
Serves 4
(Adapted from Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert)

These colorful stuffed peppers are festive and delicious. High in fiber, vitamin C, and protein, while low in salt, they are a meal unto themselves. You can serve tortilla chips on the side, but often we skip that at my house because the peppers alone are so filling. They also make tasty leftovers.
You can use dry beans, which saves money, or use canned beans, which is faster and still very affordable.

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 pound dry black beans (3/4 cup dry; or substitute 1 15-ounce can)
3 large or 4 medium sweet bell peppers, any color
1 scallion, chopped, green and white parts separated
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 plum tomato, chopped
Hot sauce to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:
If using dry black beans, soak them overnight and discard the soaking water. Rinse beans and cover with at least one inch of water; add garlic, then slow-cook for 6 to 8 hours or cook faster on stovetop for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Or skip all that and just open a can of black beans, rinse and add garlic.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash the bell peppers and cut the tops off to create tall cups. Remove cores and seeds and discard.
If you like your peppers soft, you may want to steam or microwave them with 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes. However, I like peppers more crunchy, plus I am too lazy to cook them, so I skip this step.
Stand peppers upright in an oven-proof dish.
Chop scallion and reserve green part for garnish later.
In saucepan, combine white part of scallion, corn, beans, tomato, oregano, cumin, salt and optional hot sauce. Over medium heat, warm up this salsa until it is steaming, about 5 minutes.
Carefully spoons steaming corn-bean-salsa into the peppers. Any leftover salsa can be placed in the dish around the peppers.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Keywords: recipe, entrée, vegetarian, gluten-free, heart-healthy, low-sodium, high-fiber, pepper, tomato, corn, black beans, beans, cheese

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