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Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 large bell peppers (any color is fine)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground turkey (not lean)

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

2 cups spinach, roughly chopped

1 can diced tomatoes, slightly drained

1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste

1 small zucchini, chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon fennel seed

½ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste

1 cup cooked Delta Blues Rice

1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese

Optional Toppings: sour cream, avocado, salsa, cilantro, or pico de gallo

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the bell peppers, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place on a baking sheet and bake until tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from oven and discard any liquid that has cooked out of the peppers.

As peppers are baking, heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add ground turkey and cook. When turkey is cooked about halfway, add the onion and garlic. Make sure to stir so that the garlic does not burn. Once the turkey is cooked completely, stir in mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, tomato paste, zucchini, and spices. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste to check seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Stir in rice and ¾ cup cheese.

Fill each bell pepper with the turkey mixture. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for about 7 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

Top with desired toppings.