Wash your hands. Lightly coat inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Wash peppers. Cut around stems to remove. Remove seeds and membrane through hole. Drain liquid from tomatoes and set aside. In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, ground beef, rice, salt and pepper. Fill peppers with meat mixture and place in slow cooker. Make balls from any remaining meat mixture; add to slow cooker. Pour tomato juice around stuffed peppers until nearly covered. Cover and cook 10 to 12 hours on low temperature setting. Remove lid and set slow cooker on high for an hour to make sauce thicker.
Helpful hints: During the last hour of cooking, remove lid and turn slow cooker to high. This will allow some liquid in tomato juice to evaporate and make a thicker sauce. To bump up the veggie servings in this entree, add drained can of whole-kernel corn. To vary the flavor, use fresh tomatoes or plain canned tomatoes, then add your favorite herbs.
Safety tips: Before serving stuffed peppers, insert meat thermometer into center of beef mixture to be sure it is done. To be safe, ground beef must reach an internal temperature of 160°. (Loss of redness is not a reliable measure.) don’t let the thermometer touch bottom or side of slow cooker.
The “insides” are the best part of this easy-to-fix entree. To serve, you just cut the cooked peppers in half and spoon on some sauce & topping with Cheddar or American cheese, if you like.