Thursday, November 6, 2008
Satisfying Stuffed Peppers
We’ve been trying to get a few more veggies tucked into our culinary repertoire: for our health of course… but especially for our small children who much to our dismay seem to have recently decided that if a dish doesn’t resemble pizza or chicken nuggets it isn’t worth eating. Stuffed peppers are always so tasty and elegant… in this recipe I decided to let the mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes replace any kind of meat, and it really worked. The combination with fresh arugula and feta cheese was extremely tasty (albeit a tad salty). My main piece of advice is to make sure that you use sun dried tomatoes that have been preserved in olive oil... the dried kind that need to be rehydrated are not as tasty in this recipe. We’ve tried it both ways and definitely prefer the more supple variety stored in olive oil.
Sheep’s milk feta is supposed to be fairly digestible for people suffering from dairy allergies, and I find that I do much better with it than regular cow’s milk feta. Perhaps you will have the same experience.
Overall, this is a very simple dinner to prepare – extremely filling – and not too hard on the pocket book. The peppers themselves are quite beautiful when stuffed and baked, and look chic when placed artfully on dinner plates next to a fresh side salad.
I am happy to report that exactly one of our children ate all of his stuffed pepper with gusto and asked for more. The other child, darling that he is, picked at his plate and asked for pizza. Ah well, we’ll keep on trying!
Satisfying Stuffed Pepper Recipe
What You’ll Need:
6 red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
2 cups quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth (beef broth for non veggies)
1 cup sun dried tomatoes preserved in olive oil
1 cup sheeps milk feta cheese, crumbled
8 oz mushrooms
1 bunch fresh arugula leaves (approx 2 cups of leaves)
Fresh ground black pepper
Top w/ grated parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese
How It Works:
Preheat oven to 350.
Slice bell peppers lengthwise, then place a dab of butter and a drizzle of olive oil in each half pepper and cook in oven for approx 10 minutes or until flesh of peppers begins to soften. Remove tray from oven and set aside, leaving heat on.
Cook quinoa in vegetable broth or water (beef broth for non-veggies). Prepare crumbled feta, dice your sun dried tomatoes, thoroughly rinse and de-stem the arugula leaves. Thinly slice your mushrooms. Melt approximately one tablespoon of butter and a nice sized glug of olive oil in a standard sauté pan. When butter/oil is warm but not smoking, add sliced mushrooms, sea salt, pepper and marjoram. Cover pan and sauté until flesh is has changed texture and color, becoming darker and more juicy. Stir now and again while sautéing.
When quinoa has finished cooking and looks fluffy and not too moist, add to the pot all diced sun dried tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, arugula leaves and sauteed mushrooms.
Mix thoroughly using either wooden spoons or your own clean hands. Then, using a large spoon, ladle heaping spoonfuls of this mixture into each of the softened bell pepper halves and return to oven for approximately 10 - 15 minutes, until peppers are tender but filling has not dried out. Check them frequently during this time.
Before serving, grate parmesan or sharp white cheddar cheese on top of stuffed peppers.
Serve while still warm.
This tasty dish feeds 4-6 adults as main course.