Beautiful Bell Peppers Two Ways: Vegetarian or Meaty

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Stuffed PeppersThe other night I prepared some stuffed green peppers for dinner.  The two lone peppers looked so compact in the baking dish that I was certain we would both walk away hungry.  To my pleasant surprise, each pepper revealed a fantastically full meal, enough to satisfy even after a good bout of exercise.  My bell pepper dish used a blend of rice and lentils, seasoned and stuffed tightly into each edible pepper “bowl.”  It was a recipe I was testing for an upcoming cookbook, and I must say that it received two thumbs up from our little household. Even the green pepper hater (aka my husband) said it was great…Stuffed Peppers

It seems that many people have this wonderful winter dish on their minds.  The November 2007 issue of Foods Matter Magazine featured not one, but two stuffed pepper recipes – one vegetarian/vegan and one omnivorous.

Foods Matter focuses on recipes that are suitable for various diets, so these simple recipes are also wheat, gluten, corn, soy, dairy, egg & nut free … but trust me, you won’t miss a thing.  They have paired flavorful sun-dried tomatoes, spicy chilies, and subtle seasonings for a very appealing and rather healthy dish.

Since both of the recipes below are baked the same way once stuffed, make a batch of each for your holiday party.  Your vegetarian and beef-loving guests will appreciate the choice, and a virtuous dish that won’t pack on those extra holiday pounds …

Lentil Stuffed Peppers (Vegetarian / Vegan)

Serve 6

6 Medium-Sized Bell Peppers (2 red, 2 yellow, and 2 green will add nice color)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 Small Red and 1 Small Green Chili, seeded and sliced finely
5-6 oz Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped
7 oz Puy or French Green Lentils
4 Bay Leaves
10 Peppercorns
4 Cups (1 liter) Vegetable Stock*
3 oz Shelled Pumpkin Seeds
3.5 oz Fresh Spinach
Sea Salt
Olive Oil for Drizzling

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the onion and chilies and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, bay leaves, peppercorns and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, dry fry the pumpkin seeds until they pop. Add the pumpkin seeds and spinach, mix well and season to taste.

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the peppers are cooked then serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

400cals – 16g protein – 19g total fat – 2g sat/6g mono/3.5g poly – 31g carbohydrate (10g sugar) – 5g fibre – 212mg sodium – 64mg calcium
GOOD SOURCE OF: Vitamins C, folate, iron & zinc

Beef Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6

6 Medium-Sized Bell Peppers (2 red, 2 yellow, and 2 green will add nice color)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, peeled and chopped finely
1-2 Chilis, seeded and sliced finely
1 1/4 lb Beef Mince [Ground Beef]
6 oz Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped
4 oz Quinoa or Brown Rice, uncooked
2 1/4 cups Beef or Chicken Stock*
Wine Glass of Red Wine
4 Bay Leaves
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil for Drizzling

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the onions and chilies and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the mince, continue to cook briskly for another 3 minutes then add the tomatoes, quinoa or rice, stock, wine and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste.

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5. Stuff the peppers with the appropriate mixture and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the peppers are cooked then serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

400cals – 25g protein – 21g total fat – 5g sat/8g mono/1.5g poly – 20g carbohydrate (10g sugar) – 2.5g fibre – 260mg sodium – 35mg calcium
GOOD SOURCE OF: Vitamins C, magnesium, iron & zinc

* Be sure to check the label is you would like a gluten-free and/or soy-free dish.

Recipes & Photo: Foods Matter

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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