Well, to be fair, only one will be featured in this entry, the other two are more… teasers. However, I made a well-recieved stuffed red pepper dish the other day, and as red peppers are an antioxidant rich food, particularly when combined with the arugula-pear salad I served it with, I’m happy to submit this entry as part of Sweetnicks’ ARF-5 event. Check out the other entries here!
The peppers were inspired by the mushroom and cheese stuffed pepper tapas my family enjoyed at Jaleo last month. Of course, I used up all my mushrooms making Faerie Pasta, so I had to improvise, but I really think that any vegetable and cheese (or uncheese combination would work using this technique.
9 mini sweet peppers (red, yellow, and green)
2 oz fresh mozarella
2 oz feta
1/2C cooked couscous (could also use rice, or nothing– the original had no starch, but I’m a carb addict)
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein or meat (also optional, but I try’n sneak in my protein wherever I can.)
3 tbsp. tomato paste (could also use fresh tomato)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c carrot
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2c water or broth/stock
salt/ pepper to taste
First, wash peppers thoroughly and slice the very head off, deseeding as you go. (I tried two ways, “buckets” and “boats”, and found the buckets to be better textured– even though the buckets are arguably prettier).
Lay pepper buckets on a foil-lined tray and preheat the oven to 350.
Sautee onion and carrot in olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat until you can smell the onions, add the garlic , sautee another 30 seconds, and then add the TVP/ meat. For TVP, sautee another minute and a half, for meat, sautee until cooked all the way through.
Combine TVP/ meat mixture with other ingredients (reserving water/stock and peppers) and pulse in blender until a paste is formed, adding water/stock as necessary. The finished consistency should be that of somewhat loose mashed potatoes.
Spoon the filling into the pepper “buckets”, and bake until the pepper begins to brown/ blacken at the edges, around 20 minutes in my oven.
Serve with a salad, preferably the one I made– arugula, pear, parmesan cheese, and a mustard-vinegar dressing. Yum. I could live off of that salad, at least until I remembered that I’m obsessed with pasta.
As your trivia of the day, in Australia red pepper is called capsicum and arugula is called rocket. In fact, I didn’t know that I’d even had arugula before until I bit into it last night and realized that it was my old, familiar friend.