This is comfort food at its best, starring the wonderful flavor and aroma of smoked Gouda cheese and bacon. For a veggie version, replace the bacon with sautéed shiitake mushrooms or diced sundried tomatoes.
4 yellow, red or orange bell peppers, halved through the stem and seeds discarded
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1 large white onion, diced
3 cups cooked brown rice (about 14 ounces) (use frozen 365 Everyday Value Organic Brown Rice, or cook it from scratch)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
4 slices bacon, diced
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place bell pepper halves on a baking sheet; trim a sliver off the bottom of any pepper halves that do not sit level. Sprinkle peppers with 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover the pan with foil and bake until peppers just begin to soften, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes more. Stir in rice and spinach (no need to thaw first) and cook until hot and any excess liquid from the spinach has evaporated, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in Gouda, pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Spoon mixture into bell pepper halves, putting about 1/2 cup into each. Sprinkle tops with bread crumbs and bake, uncovered, until peppers are soft and bread crumbs brown, about 25 minutes.
Per Serving:470 calories (180 from fat), 20g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 770mg sodium, 57g carbohydrates, (7 g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 18g protein.