Claire Wright from raisingsugarfreekids.com shares 3 simple ways to prepare peppers that the whole family will enjoy.

These stuffed peppers may take a little effort, but they are cheap, filling and delicious. Definitely worth a little faff!

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the tops off the peppers and de-seed them, pulling off as much of the white pith as possible, too. Rub all over with a little olive oil, then place cut side down on a baking tray lined with baking paper or foil and roast for 20 mins, until slightly softened.

While they are roasting, cook the rice by rinsing it and adding to a saucepan with 1 mug of water. Bring to the boil then cover and turn the heat down to simmer for about 10-12 mins for white Basmati rice or 25-30 mins for brown Basmati rice, until the water is absorbed. Turn the heat off and leave the rice in the pan with the lid on to steam for a few more mins to make it fluffy.

Get a large frying pan over a low-medium heat and heat a tablespoon of olive oil or butter, then gently fry the diced onion and mince for 10 mins, until meat is browned all over and the onion is soft and slightly golden, adding the diced courgette after 5 mins so it gets a chance to soften, too. Mix in the cooked rice and herbs, season to taste with pepper & Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce, then turn the softened peppers cut side up on the baking tray and stuff with the rice and meat mixture. Grate some cheese over the top, if you like, then return to the oven for another 10-15 mins, until everything is piping hot, cheese is melted and it is all cooked through. Serve hot sprinkled with fresh roughly chopped parsley or basil and any extra stuffing that wouldn’t fit in the peppers (if you have any spice fans in the family, a tiny pinch of chilli flakes or a few drops of hot sauce go well, too). Serve with a green salad or diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onion drizzled with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

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Give the kids a dessert spoon and let them scoop the seeds and white pith out of the peppers once you’ve cut the tops off. Let them measure out the rice and water with a mug, and show them how to spoon the stuffing into the peppers. Teach them to carefully cut the fresh herbs with scissors and have them sprinkle the cheese and herbs over when serving.