Made with just five ingredients, this satisfying meal can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. The recipe is adapted from Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast and features mildly spicy poblano chile peppers, which are in season in late summer and early fall. If you can’t find them, other options include traditional red, yellow or green bell peppers. The flavor will be distinctly different but still good.
For a complete meal, serve with a crisp green salad of shredded romaine, jicama, carrots and orange slices with a citrus dressing.
Prep Time: 15
4 medium poblano chile peppers, halved and de-seeded
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans (or try using whole black beans)
1 (8.8-ounce) pouch microwaveable or pre-cooked brown rice (or make your own in a rice cooker)
1/2 cup picante sauce (tomato-based salsa)
1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat cheese blend (optional)
Optional: chopped fresh cilantro, low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt for a dip
1. Place chile pepper halves, cut sides up, on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel or parchment paper; microwave on high for 3 minutes.
2. While chiles cook, combine beans, rice and picante sauce in a medium bowl, stirring well.
3. Spoon bean mixture evenly into chile halves, but don’t over stuff.
4. Cover with paper; microwave on high for 2 minutes.
5. Uncover chiles; if using, sprinkle each half with 2 tablespoons cheese, and microwave on high for 1 to 2 additional minutes, or until cheese melts.
6. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro, if desired, and serve with bowls of low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt for dipping.
Note: If you don’t have a microwave, you can use the stove top and an oven or toaster oven instead. Place chiles in baking dish with 1 tablespoon water, and steam in a 350 F degree oven for 5 minutes, or on the stovetop for 3 minutes, until soft. Once stuffed, bake chiles for 10 minutes at 350 F. Switch oven setting to broil, sprinkle chiles with cheese, if using, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese has melted. Remove from oven carefully.