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Halloween Bell Pepper Jack-O'-Lanterns | Recipeish | Gustus Vitae

Yield: 4 Large stuffed bell peppers.
Time Estimate: 1 Hour, including 30 minutes unattended.
Storage Notes: Best if enjoyed the same day, will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Difficulty: Easy.

This easy meal is perfect to make and share with the kiddos - they'll have fun helping out with the easy prep and carving the mini Jack-O'- Lanterns, and in turn you'll have an easy one-pan meal that sneaks in a bunch of veggies.

Ingredients

  • 4 Large orange bell peppers
  • 1 Cup low/no sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 Tin Kitchen Sink Seasoning
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup frozen vegetable medley
  • 1 Lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 Cups button mushrooms
  • 1 Cup white rice
  • 1 Large white onion
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
Directions 
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Bring a medium cast iron pan up to medium heat, and add ground beef. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned all over.
  • Cook rice per instructions and to your preference. 
  • While this is cooking, peel and mince onion and garlic.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve, leaving juices in the pan. Add garlic and onions, cooking and stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until well browned.
  • While these are cooking, clean any grit off mushrooms, and thinly slice.
  • Remove onions and garlic with a slotted spoon, add vegetable oil as needed, and sauté mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.
  • Again remove and reserve with a slotted spoon, increase heat to high, and cook frozen vegetables, until just showing some browning, then remove and reserve. Turn off stove.
  • Shred mozzarella.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole tin of Kitchen Sink Seasoning, 1 Cup mozzarella, ground beef, onions and garlic, mushrooms, rice, and previously frozen veggies. Fold well to combine.
  • Rinse bell peppers, and slice tops off, then remove seeds. 
  • Carve mini Jack-O'-Lantern faces into bell peppers, then stuff with mixture, stopping just below the top of the bottom of the peppers, and press down gently to compact.
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan on top, and re-top with lids.
  • Secure lids with a toothpick, and carefully place each bell pepper in a small baking dish, so they are snug and won't fall over.
  • Pour in stock to just below the lowest Jack-O'-Lantern mouth/opening, and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. They're ready when the tops are just beginning to show brown splotches.
  • Take care to remove the toothpicks, then serve, garnishing with any other 'spooky' additions you have on hand (we had some vibrantly green spinach sauce from a previous meal), and devour.