Hi all! This is another cold weather treasure that makes for awesome snacks on a football Sunday, or a meal by itself. The ingredients in this recipe are mostly Tri-doshic friendly from an Ayurvedic standpoint. There are some potentially heating aspects of the end product that might aggravate Pitta a bit; however, on a cold, blustery day in November, you can aggravate my Pitta anytime. :) So here it is!
"Sweeeet Pepper Poppers!!!"
12 Mini Sweet Peppers - They come in all the gorgeous red, yellow and orange colors of Bells, but are small and skinny. Unlike similarly shaped sharps, they are sweet and mellow.
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup freshly prepared (already cooked) couscous- Quinoa can be used, but I like the smaller size of couscous granules for this particular recipe. Note: 1/4 cup dry couscous makes about 1 cup cooked. If making from a box, save the left-over for salads. It's delicious!
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup celery, chopped small
1/4 cup carrots shredded and lightly steamed
About 1/3 pound ground and browned turkey - I have some hard-core carnivores here. Crumbled and browned tofu works, too. :)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 small bunch parsley (optional, but cool.)
2 pinches sea salt
2 Tablespoons sunflower or walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
About 1 teaspoon ground black pepper corn - I mill it straight onto the top of the finished product before popping in the oven. More or less is personal choice.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice peppers length-wise and remove seeds. Note: I like to keep the 2 halves together by not cutting through the other side. Just cut a slit big enough to open the pepper to take out the seeds. :)
Place the peppers on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Heat the garlic, salt, celery and oil in a pan and sautee for a couple minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until wilted, but still a lovely green.
Spoon the sauteed mix into the prepared couscous. Add in the steamed carrots, turkey or tofu, yogurt, turmeric and most of the cheese. Note: Keep a Tablespoon or two aside to sprinkle on top of the peppers after they come out of the oven for a little "cheesecap". This also serves to hide the veggies on the "inside" of the peppers for the picky, anti-veggie crowd. Mom trick. ;)
Stir up the couscous mix to evenly distribute everything.
With a teaspoon, spoon the mix into each of your little peppers. Be generous, but try not to overflow the little guys. Sprinkle your ground peppercorn on top.
Pop into the oven for 50 minutes.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top for last couple minutes of baking, if "cheesecaps" are desired.
Upon removal from the oven, garnish the tops by sinking little parsley florets into the tops of the stuffing. Careful. They will be hot. Place the peppers on a serving tray, and garnish the empty spaces with a few more parsley florets. (It's all about the presentation, donchaknow?)
Report: Entire plate of 12 was gone in 15 minutes, including the plate I used to take the picture. Might need to double or triple this recipe. ;)
Happy and Healthy Eating, everyone. Stay warm! :)