Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Favorite Stuffed Pepper Recipe

I love bell peppers. As an only marginally reformed picky eater, there aren't too many vegetables I can say I really love. Many vegetables out there I only like prepared certain ways. Peppers, however, I like almost any way. I prefer they not be overcooked, but even then, they're not so bad.
Peppers are the perfect vegetable for stuffing because they're big and hollow inside. You can eat an entire pepper in one meal - a whole vegetable - and that helps with that vegetable guilt thing.

I know some people think stuffed peppers are just too overcooked, which is probably true. If you're stuffing a pepper with raw meat, you really have to cook the heck out of it before the meat is cooked. My solution - don't make a filling that needs to be cooked. Make one that just needs to be warmed up a bit.

My stuffed peppers are vegetarian and you could eat them raw if you wanted to. They're filled with nuts, fruit, couscous, and feta cheese (I've tried putting bits of hard-boiled eggs in them, but it's not so great when they get overheated and rubbery). I like to bake them a bit because it's easier to eat the pepper after it has softened. It also warms up the cheese and creates crispy edges. Feel free to tweak my recipe. My measurements are rather inexact.

Easy Stuffed Peppers

5-6 peppers (depends on size)
1 cup wholewheat cous cous
1.5 cups water
Dash salt
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 handful pine nuts (or sliced almonds)
1/2-1 cup chopped apricots (or raisins or cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Cut tops off of peppers, leaving lots of room for stuffing.

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add cous cous and remove from heat. Cover and wait about 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Mix in other ingredients.

Fill peppers with mixture. If you think it's a little dry, add some broth. Place on cookie sheet and
bake about 20 minutes, or until the peppers are softer, but still firm.


Sara said...

This looks really good, I love stuffed peppers! I usually stuff mine with ground turkey, will have to try couscous next time.

Emily said...

I haven't had a stuffed pepper in a long time. When I was a vegetarian I would make them, along with other stuffed vegetables.

I bet couscous, pine nuts and dried fruit would be delicious!

Bunny said...

I loved stuffed peppers, this sound so good! For some reason my kids wil sit and eat the heck out of raw peppers but don't really care for them cooked, go figure!

Bellini Valli said...

I am loving the idea of stuffing the peppers with couscous.

Sue said...

That sounds really good, except for one little part - the peppers, but I would happily stuff that into a tomato or under chicken skin.

Daniel said...

I like how you describe yourself as a "marginally reformed picky eater"--that made me laugh. You know yourself well!

Casual Kitchen

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Sara - I do a lot of turkey stuffed peppers too. I like to do this when I want to lighten up a bit.

Em - Vegetable-stuffed vegetables! Now that sounds almost too healthy!

Bunny - I totally understand. I'm the same way about carrots.

Val - Thanks. It's a fun and light way to make lunch.

Sue - I thought of you when I made these. If it makes you feel any better, they really don't get cooked much. This would be good in a tomato though. Maybe I should change my way of thinking.

Dan - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, my pickiness is weird and at times extreme for someone who likes to eat as much as I do. The best I can say about it is I used to be much worse!

The Duo Dishes said...

Veggie stuffed peppers are a great option for folks who want something quick and light. And your recipe is kinda Mediterranean-ish. That's nice.

noble pig said...

hose are some awesome peppers...I haven't had any for a while now! Very nice.

Not Another Omnivore said...

I've seen so many fantastic stuffed pepper recipes lately and these are no exception!


The Blonde Duck said...

I'm a pepper, you're a pepper...

Stacey Snacks said...

I love couscous in peppers w/ raisins and pine nuts!
but my husband requests meat and rice every time!