Stuffing bell peppers may be a little neater than poblanos, but I actually prefer the poblanos for the smoky flavor that develops when roasted. Since bell peppers tend to take on a sweetness in the oven, I chose to go with something that better mimicked the taco seasoning's heat. The combination of spices listed below is the same I use when seasoning a pound of meat for tacos. Whenever I can avoid buying something from the store, I do it. It's more satisfying to dump in spoon full after spoon full of fragrant spices than tearing open an envelope and dumping it in a pan. Plus, no mystery ingredients!
This is a fun meal for tucking the napkins into your collar (do people still do that?) and digging in. If you want to stay relatively neat, chop up the pepper. I ended up picking up the whole thing, tried to hold it closed, and ate it like an ice cream cone. Do what you must.
Please excuse the photos for the next year or two! I just got Photoshop and it's quite the learning curve. Rather than editing them the way I used to and practicing with Photoshop, I'm jumping right in and not turning back. It's been an intense week of learning. Just when I thought I was finished with school....I suppose this is really no comparison because it's actually enjoyable and interesting.
If you're serving to kids or don't like a lot of heat, omit the cayenne pepper and reduce the chili powder to 1 tablespoon. You can easily double the recipe to make 8 servings if desired.
Taco Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Yield: 4 servings
Adapted from this and this recipe
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
1 small or medium zucchini, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and finely chopped
1/4 small white onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
4 large poblano peppers, tops removed, split down the sides, and ribs removed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking pan with parchment paper or a baking mat.
In a large pan over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Cook zucchini, bell pepper and onion until softened, stirring occasionally. Move vegetables to a plate.
Add beef to the hot pan and cook until browned, breaking apart with a wooden spoon as you go. Sprinkle in chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, (if using) and about 1/2 cup water. Stir and continue cooking until spices are fully incorporated and liquid has evaporated. Add the vegetables back to the pan.
Stuff the peppers with the meat and vegetables and place on pan. Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm.