When researching what to put in these peppers, I could not belive the high calorie and cholesterol filled cheesy, beefy, greasy recipes out there.
How did we turn these vitamin rich pockets of yumminess into vessels laden with fat and starches?
So I completely remade the recipes and instead of beef, stuffed the peppers with protein rich lentils and tons of healthy veggies. I topped them with feta and a bit of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
In terms of easy vegetarian dinners, this has to be high on the list. All that is required is the abilty to cook beans and chop veggies. No sauce. No real measuring. Just chop, chop, stuff and roast.
Just cut off the top of your peppers with a paring knife and clean out the interior of seeds and membranes. Do not cut a hole through the bottom, but if you do, just pop a few pieces of raw swiss chard inside to patch the hole.
Then chop up zucchini, mushrooms, swiss chard and onion, sauté, add in cooked lentils (which are packed full of protein), grate in some parmesan and feta cheese. Stuff the peppers, add more cheese to the top and a drizzle of olive oil. Pop in the the oven to roast for 30 minutes, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax.
I had a little leftover Italian Kale so I popped that in as well.
Hunky Hubbie couldn’t deal with a vegetarian main course- see his dinner at the bottom of the post. Shame, Hunky- shame.
Lentil & Feta Stuffed Peppers
4 Bell Peppers- tops removed and interiors cleaned of seeds and membranes. Chop only the tops & reserve for the filing.
1 cup dry lentils
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups zuchinni, chopped
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, stems removed & chopped
3 cups Swiss chard, chopped
6 oz Feta cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped fine.
3 TBSP olive oil
method- total time, 1 hour : Serves 4 entrees or 8 side dishes
- Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium size pan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
Rinse lentils, discard any pebbles or dirt. Add lentils to boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes until just cooked through. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a large pan over medium high heat, add 1 TBSP of olive oil. Sauté garlic, chopped pepper tops and mushrooms, Add in seasonings- salt through paprika. Add in remaining vegetables and parsley reserving a few pieces for garnish. Saute until just cooked through. Stir in cooked lentils.
- Spoon lentil and vegetable mixture into peppers, crumbling in a small amount of feta as you go. Fill peppers to the top, add parmesan to each pepper and remaining feta. (see photos)
Drizzle with olive oil.
Set in a shallow roasting pan or oven proof dish.
- Roast peppers at 375 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake another 15 minutes or until peppers are soft and feta is golden brown. Remove carefully from pan with a spatula and a pair of tongs.