Tropical stuffed peppers are probably my favorite summer dish that Dre has developed. This is saying a lot, because I really love all of his dishes. The thing about this recipe is that Dre concocted is a mixture of citrus, heat, crispiness, and smooth that puts the tastebuds on overload.
The flavor profile in this stuffed pepper is a perfect summer blend. Poblano Peppers stuffed with mango pineapple salsa, coconut rice, and shrimp, then drizzled with honey lime… It’s like every bite is a mouthful of sunshine. That’s all there is to it.
The subtle heat of the poblano pepper combined with the jalapeno in the mango pineapple salsa are what give this dish the bite that initially hits the tongue. This is quickly diffused by the citrus and sweet of the mango, pineapple, and honey lime drizzle. Mix in a little goat cheese for creamy goodness, finish it off with coconut rice, and you are in for a culinary trip to the islands!
Let’s talk about Poblano Peppers for a second
The Poblano Peppers are key to this recipe. Poblanos fall into the lower level of heat when it comes to spicy peppers, which makes them great for this dish. They are not as sweet as a bell pepper and that allows for the sweet and citrus flavors of the pineapple mango pico to shine. While being a good sized pepper with a nice, firm, exterior, they’re also not quite as meaty as the bell peppers, so you get a nice blend of the pepper into each bite.
Keep in mind that while the Poblano is on the lower end of the Scoville Heat Scale, which measures Pepper heat, if you happen to pick up a pile of peppers that is hitting the higher end of the Poblano range, you’re working your way into Jalapeno territory. For the most part, however, Poblano’s will rank around 1,000-2,000 SHU, which means you will get a little heat, but not too much.
If you really want to play it safe or if you can’t find Poblanos for some reason, you can also use an Anaheim Pepper or even go all the way to a Bell Pepper. Those will both work fine and taste great with the stuffing, but know that it changes the flavor profile of the dish a little bit.
One thing to keep in mind if you’re not having luck finding Poblanos, is that you will often find Poblanos mislabeled as Pasilla Peppers. If you see a pile of peppers labeled as Pasillas that look like the ones in the picture, there’s a good chance you’re actually looking at Poblanos.
Why we love Poblano Peppers for MS
We’ve talked about the health benefits of some of the other ingredients in this dish for MS in other posts, so let’s keep focusing on the Poblano Pepper. The health benefits of the Poblano are plentiful, sand we’re pretty excited about the antioxidant factor here.
Rich in vitamins C and A, the Poblano is chocked full of antioxidants. Put as simply as possible, antioxidants fight free radicals in your body, and free radicals are compounds in the body that can damage cell makeup. Keeping it simple, a diet high in antioxidants is good for all of us, but we’re pretty excited about the prospects for those fighting autoimmune disease, such as MS.
While the studies have not been completely conclusive, there have been indications that as with many other diseases, antioxidants can support multiple sclerosis health. There is still work to be done and research to be had, but we’ll take positive indications, and we just really love Poblano Peppers, so it does not hurt that they’re good for us!
The protein we use for this is pan fried shrimp with a cajun or crushed red pepper. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option you can definitely switch it out for tofu.
Goat cheese adds a nice, creamy texture to the filling. If you’re non-dairy, you don’t have to put it in there and you’re still going to have a great flavor in your stuffing.
The pineapple mango salsa for this dish is the same that Dre uses for his Caribbean grilled shrimp. Why change a great thing?
You’ll need: chopped pineapple, mango, diced bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange is preferred), a jalapeno, minced garlic, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and lemon juice.
The coconut rice is white rice, coconut milk, lime juice, cilantro, and water. You can also toss in some shredded coconut if you’d like to fancy it up a little.
The final touch is a honey lime drizzle, which brings the whole thing together. You can make this fresh, or purchase it at the store. Either way, it’s a great way to finish this off!
Preparing the Tropical Stuffed Peppers
Start with your Mango Pineapple Salsa because it is the most labor intensive part of the dish and needs some time for the flavors to blend together. It can be done the night before or earlier in the day, refrigerated, and still taste great.
Slice the pineapple and mango into about 1/8 inch chunks, then dice the jalapenos, peppers, and red onion into small pieces. Chop up the parsley, put it all in the same bowl, mix in the garlic, lime juice, and spice. Thoroughly mix everything so the flavors can blend.
Dre loves the LHS vegetable Chopper for his picos and chutneys. It speeds up the process and allows him to focus his energy on the other parts of the dish, which is key when cooking with MS or any other conditions that can cause fatigue. While he still uses the knife for the pineapple and mango, this takes some of the knife work out of the prep as well.
Your rice will take about 30 minutes to prepare and you’ll need this done prior to mixing everything for the filling. Rinse your rice until the water is clear. Mix it with the coconut milk and water in a medium sauce pan, let boil for 20 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Finish with the cilantro and salt to taste.
The rice can also be prepped ahead of time, as it will heat up again when you mix it in with the stuffing and bake the peppers.
This will work well in a pan, but we do love the rice cooker for rice. It pretty much guarantees light, fluffy rice every time and avoids the worries about rice burning to the bottom of the pan. It also works great even if you forget about the rice while you’re cooking everything else (are we the only ones who have done that?)
The last part of getting this ready is the shrimp. Peel and devein your shrimp (take the tails off for this one!). Toss your shrimp, spice, and lime juice in a bowl until fully coated. Heat a pan to medium, drizzle with olive oil, and cook the shrimp until they are no longer opaque, flipping midway through the process to cook both sides.
Cut cooked shrimp into small chunks.
In a bowl mix pico de gallo, shrimp chunks and rice. You’ve just made the filling for your peppers.
While your oven is warming to 350, wash and pat dry your peppers. Slice them in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds. Lay the peppers flat in your baking pan. Spoon the filling into the peppers so it’s slightly mounded in the center. Finish by putting two chunks of goat cheese on each pepper. Cover with aluminum foil, get them in the oven and 30 minutes later these will be ready!
The final touch is to plate them up and drizzle honey lime over the top – now you get to enjoy!
Please visit our Resources page if you are interested in finding some of the tools and gadgets Dre uses to make cooking accessible while combatting MS!
Tropical Stuffed Peppers
Coconut Lime Rice
Pineapple Mango Pico
Heat Oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and Devein Shrimp. Rinse and Pat Dry. drizzle with olive oil and season with the cajun spice.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp cook 2-3 pr side, or until opaque.
Chop shrimp and add to a large bowl with salsa and rice. Mix well and set aside.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seed bundle, place skin-down in a baking pan and cook for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Fill the pepper halves with the sheimp/rice/salsa mixture. Place 2-3 chunks of goat cheese on each pepper half, cover and bake for 15 min.Mixture should be hot throughout.
Coconut Lime Rice
Rinse rice 2-3 times until water runs clear.
Place rice, milk and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to lowest simmer setting, cover and simmer for 20 mins. (No Peeking)
Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Add Cilantro, lime and fluff/mix with a fork. Add salt/sugar to taste and set aside to cool. Top with coconut (optional)
Pineapple Mango Pico
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill for at least ½ hour.