Its our last exam week, so maybe I should start paying attention to school again… but cooking is so much more fun! If your schedule is getting a little crazy as well, this is the recipe for you! Even on nights when I am crunched for time, I still want my dinner to be healthy and delicious, even if it is a little quicker on the preparation front. Here is one of those simple, use what you have in your fridge and put together in ten minutes kind of meals.
I love the idea of edible food containers – bread bowls, watermelon baskets, hollowed out pineapple boats, personal squash dishes. It looks pretty, and is great to be able to eat the dish! Stuffed peppers are another favorite and can be taken in so many directions depending on what you fill them with. This one is inspired by more Mediterranean flavors, including feta cheese, chickpeas and cous-cous, and the stuffing tastes great even without the pepper shell! It also contains some adzuki bean and pea sprouts, a totally optional ingredient that I included because I needed to clean out my fridge! I got these delightful little sprouts as part of my Boston Organics box, and read on the package that they are great sprinkled on salads to incorporate some protein. They have a slightly earthy, crunchy texture when completely raw, but loose a little of their edge when they are warmed up in food. I tried them on a salad, but much prefer them incorporated into a main-dish meal like this. Stuffed peppers can be totally experimental, and are a great place to start flying without an ingredient list if you are new to the kitchen. Find a whole grain, a bit of protein, and a veggie or two to mix together, throw in the pepper shell, and bake for five minutes. The possibilities are endless! Even now, I am imagining a pepper half filled with black beans, salsa and brown rice for a Mexican pepper… Let your imagination and stomach be your guide.
Question: What is your favorite dinner-on-the-fly recipe that you turn to when life gets busy?
¾ cup whole grain cous cous
¼ cup sprouts (adzuki, pea and bean)
¼ cup crumbled feta
1 can chickpeas
salt, pepper, cumin (start with 1 tsp), and garlic powder to taste
2 red peppers
Preheat oven to 400. Slice peppers in half to create boats and place cut side down with a little water in a baking dish. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until peppers begin to soften slightly. Meanwhile, boil 1 ½ cups water. Stir into cous cous, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Microwave chickpeas and spices for a minute. Mix in bean sprouts. Mix in fluffed cous cous. Adjust spices to taste. Spoon into red pepper shells and sprinkle with feta. Put back in oven on broil for about 5 minutes. (Final broil step is optional if in a rush, but makes the feta really nice and gooey!)