I am forever grateful to my friend, Jen, who opened my eyes to homemade stuffed peppers! I was a young wife who didn't make much of anything and it was like a light bulb went on when I was fed the "yummiest" meal. How fun it is to make something so simple but have it transport you to a feeling that you're eating something very special. It also makes the husband very happt too. As Jen also taught me, the leftovers are great to use for stuffed pepper soup!
3 medium bell peppers
2 TBSP of olive oil
1/2 of a sweet onion - diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 small eggplant - diced
1/2 can of white beans
1 cup of tomato sauce
4-5 leaves of basil - chopped (if you have it)
Using a knife, carefully cut around the stem of the pepper. Remove the stem and all the insides you can reach. You can use a spoon to dig the ribs and seeds out if there are a lot left inside. Set peppers aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sautee the onion on medium/low heat for 5 minutes to soften. Grate in the garlic cloves. If you don't have a grater, just chop it up very fine. Add in the diced eggplant. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Sautee for 5 more minutes. Add in the white beans, basil and tomato sauce. Allow to simmer for just a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and spoon into the hollowed out pepper. Top with cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve with a side of pasta or a salad. Delicious!!!!
Sauteed ground meat and rice are great substitutions if you have those ingredients. Just sautee the meat in the onions and garlic with salt and pepper. Add in the pre-cooked rice at the end with the tomato sauce.