stuffed red peppers

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brightly colored meals attract my attention, and this dinner entrée is one of those which will also brighten your taste buds. from the pages of Martha Stewart everyday food, this recipe suggests using red bell peppers, but i would suppose other colors would be just as attractive. if you have a brightly colored casserole dish, that would also add to the presentation of this easy dinner.

to make this recipe:  preheat the oven to 400 degrees. in a skillet, saute one chopped medium onion, with minced garlic to taste, along with salt and pepper as desired.  cook until the onions are soft.  next add about 12 ounces of chicken sausage without a casing.  brown the sausage and then add one can of diced tomatoes, with one cup of water.  cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.  next, i added 1/2 cup orzo to the mixture.  the recipe calls for 3/4 cup couscous.  the orzo was delicious as an alternative.

next, fill the peppers. i used 2 red bell peppers that i halved and seeded lengthwise, also removing the white ribs.  when the peppers are filled in the ceramic dish, pour 1/2 cup water around the peppers for baking.  cover the dish with foil and bake about 45 minutes.  

for a final addition, remove the peppers from the oven, remove the foil, and sprinkle shredded Monterey Jack cheese on the tops, and bake an additional 8 minutes until brown.  

serve with a side salad, fruit, or a crusty roll. this dish has 442 calories for a one-half pepper serving.

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