Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stuffed Peppers and Pea Shoots

The weather yesterday was BEAUTIFUL. Oh my goodness. It made me ready for summer, gardening and farmers market season so incredibly much. Alas, we still have some rainy days (*cough cough* TODAY) ahead of us before the sun really gets going. That's okay. Oregonians appreciate sunshine more when it does come. We are very patient like that.

Speaking of farmers markets, this meal was inspired by a farmers market find as well as by Stumbleupon and the speckled shelf at our local grocer. The "speckled shelf" (discount produce, Colin calls it the speckled shelf because there are always speckled bananas) gives me the inspiration for so many dishes and a couple days ago I found two beautiful red bell peppers at Sundance that sparked a Stumbleupon memory I had recently "favorited." Couple that with the pea shoots I picked up at the market and you have this delicious and nutritious meal!

I have never cooked pea shoots before but I have to say, they are now one of my favorite greens. They are like a cross between spinach and chard in both consistency and taste. Easy to work with and difficult to find, (although they are in season so check your farmer's market!) I will definitely pick these up whenever I can find them.

As for the bell peppers: I will give you my recipe (because it was delicious and gluten free!) but realistically you can stuff bell peppers with about any grain or legume and they will turn out delicious.

Stuffed Peppers
  • 3-4 Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange are preferable here although Green will work in a pinch)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, put through a micro plane grater or chopped finely.
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 heirloom tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 peas or corn (I used frozen)
  • 2 Anaheim or 1 additional bell pepper (or frozen peppers if you are me!) diced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (or 1 small can stewed tomatoes and 2 tsp Italian seasoning)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 cup rice or quinoa (optional, use quinoa for GF recipes. I didn't use either and it was still good)
  • 2 tbsp panko (or other) breadcrumbs (omit if making GF)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Start by slicing off the tops of each of your bell peppers and pulling out the seeds and other innards.
After you do this, slice the bottom of the peppers so that they will stand up (but not so much that you create a hole in the bottom). Coat them with a thin layer of olive oil (I just PAMed mine) and set them on a baking tray.

Put the olive oil in a large fry pan and bring it up to medium heat. Toss in the onion, garlic and shallots (you can use any combo of these three ingredients, I just happened to have all three on hand).

Saute them until golden and the onions are beginning to caramelize.
Add in all of the veggies and saute them with the garlic and onion mixture until heated (you don't need to cook them fully - they will go in the oven in a hot minute). While the veggies are cooking over medium-low heat, open your can of chick peas, drain them and pour them into a mixing (or other large-ish) bowl. Using a fork, mash the beans until there are no big chunks left. You can also use a food processor to pulse them if you want, but be careful; we're not making hummus here, we still want the fiberous texture in tact.

Add these in with your veggies along with the marinara sauce, tomato paste, Sriracha and spices (and rice/quinoa if you are using it) and give it all a good mixin' until it is heated all the way through.

Use a spoon to spoon the mixture into the peppers. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. The reason mine turned out so charred looking is because I decided I would broil them for a few minutes after they were done baking to darken up the edges. Except apparently I got a little carried away. Use broil on LOW, not HIGH if you want to do this.

After you remove the peppers from the oven, let them cool slightly since they will be really hot. Don't want you to burn your moufs.

Pea Shoots

These are the easiest greens to cook ever@ They cook so evenly and prettily and taste so good.

All you need is:
  • One bunch pea shoots (chopped into 1 inch long chunks)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp Bragg's (or soy sauce if you must)
  • 1 tbsp white wine
Saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until it just begins to brown. Throw in your greens. Continue to add Braggs and wine until as they greens cook down. This whole process will take about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them, you don't want soggy greens and they cook fast.

If you do them right, you won't be disappointed.

I <3 Pea Shoots.

And, in case you were wondering: I had fresh, cut strawberries with a little bit of lite coconut milk spooned over the top and half a crushed graham cracked sprinkled over the mix for dessert. It was delicious and so summery.

Live long and prosper. Speckled shelf style.

No comments:

Post a Comment