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Make these easy stuffed peppers for a healthy dinner

Easy meatless stuffed peppers are filled with a

Easy meatless stuffed peppers are filled with a savory blend of chickpeas and rice. Credit: Marge Perry

These easy-to-make stuffed peppers are not only delicious, they are incredibly healthy. The peppers make a hearty meatless entree, but you can also serve them as a side dish when you have a mix of vegetarians and meat eaters at your table. (That makes them ideal for Thanksgiving.)

For the quickest version, I use "instant" brown rice, but you can make these with whatever rice you like best. You need three cups cooked rice in total.

Chickpea and Rice Stuffed Peppers

¾ cup instant brown rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon allspice

1 15-ounce can tomato purée

1 15-ounce can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeds and membranes removed

½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional)

¼ cup parsley, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine the rice with 1 1/3 cups water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; immediately reduce the heat, cover and gently simmer 10-12 minutes until the water is absorbed.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, and allspice and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and tomato purée and cook another minute. Stir in the rice until thoroughly combined.

4. Place the peppers in a 3-quart baking dish and fill them with the rice mixture. Pour half cup of water in the pan around (not on) the peppers. Cover the pan with tented foil and bake until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 30 minutes. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and sprinkled with parsley if desired.

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