Really Neat Mexican Stuffed Peppers

neatandeggsI’m really excited to write this blog post because it features a product I’ve wanted to try ever since I read about it in August. I local family right here in Lancaster County is rolling out a new meat alternative called ‘neat.’ Described as the market’s first shelf-stable, soy-and-gluten-free meat alternative, the goal was to appeal to more than vegetarians; they were looking to create something that would satisfy any meat-etarian, too. More importantly, they were wary of meat stand-ins already out there, which typically contain chemical additives and genetically engineered soy. Neat is a perfectly balanced combination of pecans, garbanzo and white beans for protein, plus organic cornmeal. When you add a little egg (or vegan egg replacement) and a splash of water, you have the fixins’ for an awesome ground beef alternative – perfect for anyone trying to lower their cholesterol through diet. Did I mention it’s delicious, priced comparably to a pound of ground beef, and if you don’t live in Lancaster County, can be purchased on Amazon?

This morning I came home with my very first package of neat. I decided to make stuffed peppers because I had some veggies that I wanted to use and always have organic canned tomatoes on hand. But since neat introduced its product to the marketplace leading with their Mexican mix, that was all I could find – so my stuffed peppers which are usually filled with ground beef and Italian style, turned vegetarian and Mexican on the fly.

RECIPE: Really Neat Mexican Stuffed Peppers
  • pepperingredients1 pkg of neat, prepared per package directions – 2 eggs + 2 TBSP water
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 3 bell peppers (I like red, but you can use whatever you like), cut in half, seeds removed and blanched for 5 minutes to soften
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, sides removed and diced (core is discarded)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes, whizzed in blender for just a moment to break up large chunks (no need to drain)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • dried oregano
  • 1 cup shredded monterey jack, pepper jack or mexican blend cheese
  • scallions chopped for garnish
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

peppermixtureDIRECTIONS: After blanching and draining the pepper halves, arrange on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil on high just until the edges of the pepper start to blacken. Remove from oven and set aside. Re-set the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and brown neat like you would ground beef. Set aside. Add a little more olive oil and add the onion, zucchini, carrots, dried oregano, salt and pepper to the pan. Saute just until veggies start to brown (approx 5 minutes); pour in tomatoes; let simmer for 5 minutes; adjust salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 2 cups of sauce for topping.

peppersuncookedAdd neat and brown rice to the mixture and combine. Spoon mixture evenly among pepper halves. Top with reserved tomato mixture and cheese; bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove foil for the last ten minutes to get a little color on the cheese. Garnish with fresh scallions. Enjoy!

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