03 December 2009

renegade thursday

disclaimer: no pictures....sorry.

my sister always says she tries a recipe first then experiments with it...not this girl...this girl does stuff! (lame, i know, but i couldnt resist). i was bored. its been one of those "off" days and i was avoiding writing down my goals for 2010 - which i have to do, b.c. if i dont, i may forever do nothing. i also wanted to eat something that felt somewhat healthy, so i decided to make stuffed peppers. i'd say i did a pretty good job, the green peppers were a little al dente, but still good. please also note, i didnt really follow quantity, i just played around, i encourage you to do the same. its liberating, especially when the meal comes out well.

Stuffed Peppers
adapted from here

  • 3 green bell peppers, two w. tops removed and seeded, one diced and seeded (save for later)
  • 3 red peppers, two w. tops removed and seeded, one diced and seeded (save for later)
  • a glug or two of olive oil
  • 1 half of a white onion, diced
  • 1 generous handful sliced mushrooms
  • as much freshly chopped garlic as you’d like
  • some cayenne pepper
  • a dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups cooked white (wild, may have been better – more texture) rice
  • 1 (14-ounce can) tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 can drained black beans
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 handful (or a few, depends on how much you like) fresh spinach
  • some (again, as much as you like) shredded cheddar cheese, to finish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wrap the halved peppers in aluminum foil, and bake in the oven until tender, but not falling apart, about 15 minutes – I did mine for about 11 minutes and they were still hard, so I say at least 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, mushrooms, garlic, cayenne pepper and pepper flakes (the amount of hot peppers depends on your palette), and saute until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add in the zucchini, rice, tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers and black beans and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the tomato paste. Remove from the heat and fold in the fresh spinach. 
4. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the cooled peppers. Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof serving dish and top with a generous helping of cheddar cheese. Bake until the peppers are heated through, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and serve.

Cook's Note: This can be served on a bed of fresh tomato sauce or on its own. Enjoy. I had a lot of leftover insides, which I will probably eat tomorrow... also, this is a lot of food. I’d say you could feel 8, if everyone just took on half of a pepper – or 4 with two halves.

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