Friday, February 06, 2009

Delicious Light Dinner with Peppers

The last time I tried a Martha Stewart recipe, it was a disaster. That doesn’t stop me from looking at the recipes in her magazine Martha Stewart Living.

In the February issue I was inspired by a stuffed pepper recipe. I loved the Italian flavor given it by the oregano, feta cheese and garlic. Since I have long ago decided not to follow one of her recipes as written, I just ran with the Italian flavors idea.

I added freshly chopped Italian parsley. There was a half of a tomato in the fridge, so I chopped that up and threw it in the stuffing bowl. About a half cup of diced zucchini added some more green. Since I didn’t have any on hand, I omitted the scallions that she used. Last, I toasted some pine nuts to sprinkle on top once the peppers were baked.

This is a healthy meal and vegetarian. If you take out the feta cheese, it could also be vegan. Still has some protein from the beans and pasta combo. The great thing is that it goes together fairly quickly, if you don’t mind a little time spent chopping. It smells wonderful before it is cooked and even better once cooked.
It is really pretty, too, with the colored peppers, red from the tomatoes, green from the zucchini and parsley, and pale beige from the beans. You can make this with whatever color bell pepper you have on hand. I suspect that replacing the couscous with cooked rice would taste great, too.

The key thing is to have fresh ingredients because you really taste them. I served them with some early asparagus, simply steamed. It made a nice, warm, easy meal for after work today.

Speaking of work, now that we are getting longer days, it is still a bit light when I leave. Today we had some very welcome rain overnight and it kept raining until early afternoon. As I was driving home I saw that there was ground fog from the moist earth and behind it a sunset.

In this photo that combination really sets off the dark gnarly bare old apple tree limbs.

This is a good dinner for an entry in Meeta's great Monthly Mingles event, this month highlighting Healthy Family Meals.

Italian Medley Stuffed Peppers
Inspired by a recipe in Marth Stewart's Living magazine Feb '09

4 large bell peppers, any color
1 can (15 oz.) cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 large tomato diced
1/2 cup diced fresh zucchini
1/3 cup couscous
1 cup (4 oz.)feta, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup water
Slice off the tops of the peppers. Remove the seeds and ribs. If needed, slice off some of the bottom of the peppers so they sit flat. Chop the pepper part of the tops, discarding the stems. Put that into a bowl.

To the bowl add the beans, garlic, oregano, parsley, tomato, zucchini, couscous, feta and salt and pepper. Stir to blend thoroughly. Stuff this mixture into the pepper shells.

Place stuffed peppers in a baking dish. Add 1 cup water. Cover tightly, using foil if the baking dish doesn't have a tight cover.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Serve garnished with 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts if desired.


  1. Anonymous5:31 AM

    Oh, yummy yum!

    I kind of have the same experiences with Martha Stewart's recipes -- I think you have to be rigorous with following them, and ...*cough* well, that's not exactly my strength. I love all of her stuff for the ideas they give, and frankly, I think that's all she intended. This was a lovely redo of a recipe, and it looks like it worked for you well!

    I immediately thought, "What would it be like if we roasted the bell peppers slightly in flame before baking them....?" Might not hold together quite as well, but I do love grilled peppers! Tasty.

  2. Oh how I wish I been there for those peppers! I love these kinds of dinners. I'm sure rice would be lovely, so would barley.
    Lovely sunset! I always get a rush with those moments.

  3. Stuffed peppers absolutely make me happy. That you added extra crunch with the pine nuts is more than interesting.

  4. t, if you cook this longer the peppers would get roasted more...Sweetie was hungary so I didn't cook them as long as I could have :) Pre-grilled would be harder to stuff, but surely tasty!

    Tanna, Wish you could have been here, too. I even had an extra. Maybe one day...

    Giz, I always have liked stuffed veggies...and pine nuts, too.

  5. i love stuffed peppers and these look delicious.

  6. Lovely colour. Now, I'm feeling inspired to find a variety of ways to cook stuffed peppers.