1 pound ground beef


15 baby sweet bell peppers (about 2½ to 3 inches long, about 1¼ pounds)

2/3 cup regular or spicy 100% vegetable juice

½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

¼ cup uncooked whole wheat or regular couscous

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup reduced-fat shredded Parmesan, Monterey Jack, white Cheddar or Italian-blend cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes, but not stem. Place peppers, cut-sides up, on two rimmed baking sheets. Combine ground beef, vegetable juice, spinach, couscous, garlic, oregano, salt and black pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, in 400-degree oven 25 to 30 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pepper registers 160 degrees and peppers begin to brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 30 appetizers.


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