Thursday, March 19, 2009

Weeknight Stuffed Peppers

I'm trying to make up for lost time on my blog. I've been steadily slowing down on posting for the last few months, and February was the worst yet--2 posts for the entire month! Lots of stuff has been going line out in my "real" world, and it's been hard to keep up with cooking decent food and finding time to write about it. It hasn't been all bad stuff lately, though... I've figured out I'm going back to school in May (and leaving my full time job that I don't really love...), and I've been helping my parents sort out a move to St. Louis. My husband didn't have a job through the holidays and January, but now he has a new job that he's settling into. Plus, winter weather was really wearing me out!

But spring is around the corner, and I'm turning over a new blogging leaf :) I've been getting back into the kitchen a lot recently, and am trying out new recipes that I'd love to share. I haven't done anything too complicated recently, focusing more on day to day real food. This recipe was from Everyday Food, and it's exactly the type of recipe that fits into my busy weeknight schedule.

I do think simple food is something you have to be careful with. There are times when three or four ingredients can come together perfectly, like when you stuff dates with cheese and wrap them in bacon. Combine those three ingredients and invite some friends over, and they'll think you're a kitchen goddess! Other times, though, simple food ends up being boring food. I have an Everyday Food cookbook, and have had success with some of the simple recipes in it. This Stuffed Greek Peppers recipe was from Martha Stewart's website, and I felt like it was a simple recipe that ended up not quite as tasty as it sounded. I think next time I'd pre-cook the couscous, and just bake the peppers in a dish, without the water in the bottom. Also, I didn't season it any more that the recipe called for, but I know next time there would be more salt, pepper, and other dried herbs. I love the idea of Stuffed Peppers, and I think this recipe is a good starting point for making your own version.

Greek Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Everyday Food

4 large bell peppers (I used green peppers)
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I used chickpeas, because we'd had a dish with cannellini beans a couple days before)
1 cup crumbled feta (4 ounces)
1/2 cup couscous
4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
5 mushrooms, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Slice a very thin layer from the base of each bell pepper so they sit flat. Slice off tops just below stem. Discard stems; chop tops, and place in a medium bowl. Remove ribs and seeds from peppers.

To bowl, add chickpeas, feta, couscous, scallion whites, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Stuff peppers with bean mixture. Place upright in a 5 quart dutch oven, add one cup of water. Place the lid on the dutch oven, and bake until peppers are tender, about one hour. (Next time I would just put in a glass dish, cover with foil, and bake until tender. I think steaming with water really diluted the flavor.)

Serve with scallion greens and lemon wedges.


suze said...

i've been having a hankering for stuffed peppers lately, so i'll definitely have to try this one out. last time, we made spanish rice, and mixed in browned ground beef and cheese before baking. i'd like to try out the vegetarian variety, though!

you didn't mention what you're going back to school to study! :)

Sarah said...

I've been having a hard time keeping up with my blog as well. I'm really hoping that the spring weather will push me back into the blogging mode.
Sorry this didn't turn out as well as you hoped! I bet with some changes it would be great.

Nicole said...

These look great! My mom used to stuff peppers when I was a child and I hated them but you are making me think I ought to give them a more "grown up" try!

Darius T. Williams said...

I'm sooo loving this meal - and the lasagna looks fantastic.