Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Life For An Old Stand-by

I am pretty sure everyone in the free world has had a stuffed bell pepper before and also guess you are in either of two camps.  There are those who love them and those who hate them.  I have never met a stuffed pepper indifferent person, but maybe there are a few out there.  I fall into the love them category  It is probably my favorite vegetable.  I love them minced  and added to everything , love them sauteed with other foods, cooked or raw makes no difference.  In fact I have been known to sit at the table with a knife and eat an entire bell pepper like others would eat an apple.

Yesterday Publix had a really good deal on a bag of bell peppers.  I got 7 huge peppers for $1.99.  There were 5 green and 2 yellow peppers in said bag, but they were very ripe and needed to be eaten in a couple of days.  Even pepper loving me can't finish 7 in two days, so I decided to bake a couple of stuffed peppers for supper.    We are trying to eat healthier and have many servings of vegetables and fruit daily.  I was wondering what to serve with the stuffed peppers to amp up our vegetable intake when I spied my Magic Bullet  on the kitchen counter top.

I  recently bought one at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I had been reading about all kinds of breakfast smoothies, green drinks , and the occasional margarita on blogs and nearly all of them used a Magic Bullet instead of a blender.  Now I understand why.  The MB is a very powerful blender, chopper, whipper, and  ice crusher.  It is a one handed operation that processes and is clean in the time it would take to set my regular blender up.

 I rummaged through the fridge to see what fresh veggies lived there. It was sparse choice day, since I had only carrots and cauliflower in the crisper.  I grabbed a couple of carrots and loped off about 1/4 of the cauliflower.  After a good scrubbing and thorough washing I chopped them in pieces about 1 inch big.  In went the carrots and I started the MB.  After some serious whirring I had what I fondly call carrot dust.  It was not liquified carrots, but instead this very fine dry to the touch carrot bits.  It really did look much like carrot colored corn meal.  I did the same thing to the cauliflower and mixed them both together in a bowl.  I put them aside and  put 1/4 cup of quinoa in a bowl.  I added 1 cup of very hot tap water to it and let is sit for about 30 minutes.  I found about 2/3 of a cup of ground turkey in the freezer and had already taken it out and defrosted it.  I mixed the turkey and the powdered veggies together in a bowl and then strained the water off the quinoa.  I added the quinoa to the meat veggie mix, 1/2 of a small onion, diced  and added 1 heaping teaspoon of Penzy's Bangkok seasoning. ( Only reason that seasoning was used was because it was the first one I saw when I looked in the spice cabinet. When it was well mixed I added about 3 tablespoons of veggie broth and stirred until everything was blended.  I cut the tops off 2 peppers and quickly cored and seeded them.  They were stuffed to overflowing and set in an oven proof baking dish in a 350 degree oven.  I covered them tightly with foil. Since the quinoa was uncooked  I figured the moisture in the mix with the  foil cover would steam the grain nicely.  After cooking about 30-35 minutes it was ready to eat.  We had one full veggie serving with the pepper alone and another full serving in the stuffing.  After I took them out of the oven we put a little ketchup on top and added a large green salad to the meal. ( Cha-ching!  Another vegetable serving!)

It is something I will do again.  It was light and very tasty, but we could taste neither the carrots nor the cauliflower.  I guess the pepper flavor was intense enough to overpower the other vegetables. Who knows?  Next time I might used grated zucchini or even fine ribbons of kale.  Guess I will just have to wait until I am actually doing it and see what I have on hand.

In the meantime I have a few peppers and a new food dehydrator screaming to be used.  I am going to try my hand at drying some peppers to toss in soups and casseroles  this winter.

I think I am feeling kind of like a mad scientist now.

p.s.  Please ignore the ketchup made with high fructose corn syrup on top of the pepper.  It hardly qualifies as "real food".  I only have about 1/4 cup left in the bottle and then we are switching to an organic ketchup made with cane sugar instead.
Or I might try my had at making my own before the tomato crop is gone.  Who knows?

Oh and one other quick thing.  Take 1 cup of cottage cheese and top it with 3 sliced green onions, 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper and 1 small can of drained pineapple tidbits.  Stir together for a delicious quick lunch.  And yes, I know it sounds gross but give it a try.  It is really good

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely cannot stand bell pepper alone or in large chunks. If it is in small pieces for meatloaf or spaghetti, I love it. However, taking a large bite of cooked or raw bell pepper won't happen.

    What kind of dehydrator did you get?

    Oops,this is an old, old post,but I am going to post anyway.