The thing about how I cook (and I imagine about how most people who like to cook do it) is I don’t really follow recipes. Which makes posting recipes to share with you all hard to do. I am able to cook without recipes because I know what various foods, spices, oils, etc., taste like, and I can get a pretty good idea of what they’re going to taste like together. This is a useful skill to have, it allows me to look in my fridge and see (as I did yesterday) that I had some leftover rice, some cheese, and some wilting carrots, chard, and red peppers that needed to be eaten pronto, and think, “I can make something yummy out of all that!”
I’m hoping that by sharing my method it can help you to develop similar skills, if you don’t already have them.
So yesterday I decided to make stuffed sweet peppers. I was inspired by a meal I enjoyed at a good friend’s birthday party. This friend (who happens to be a vegetarian) served poblano peppers stuffed with cheesey quinoa and veggies as the main course of her meal and it was fantastic. I figured I could recreate something fairly similar.
So the first thing I did was dump the left over wild rice (maybe 2 cups?) into a bowl. I mixed in a whole block of softened cream cheese (technically, I used Neufchatel, which tastes just like cream cheese but is slightly lower in calories and higher in protein, I don’t know why anyone would ever buy that crappy light cream cheese when there’s Neufchatel that actually tastes good), some chia seeds, some herbs (Kirkland’s Organic No Salt Seasoning, to be precise), some salt, and some pepper. Notice I didn’t measure anything, I eyeballed it all. Then I diced up the carrots, chard, and half an onion very small and mixed them in. Last but not least I threw in about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I stirred it all together and got this.
My next step was to cut the tops off of all my sweet peppers and scoop out the seeds. Easy peasy.
I then began scooping the cheesy rice blend into the peppers. I packed in as much as I could, and piled it up just a tiny bit on top because I expected that the melting cheese would cause it to sink a little. I had some rice blend left over so I threw it into some tupperware and into the freezer, to use later.
Then I threw them into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes (I checked them at 10, then decided to keep them in 10 minutes longer, depending on how crisp you want your peppers to be, you might alter the time a little – I found twenty minutes kept them pretty crisp except around the top edges, which were softer and more roasted).
This is how they turned out.
I have to say, this was a pretty yummy meal. I figured it would make five meals for me (since neither Jeremy or Elijah would touch a meal of this nature … I’m working on them), but I sat down and ate two right away. I ate another one for dinner, and then ate a fourth today for lunch. So yeah, I’ve only got one left now. They’re pretty good. There are lots of ways this recipe could be altered if you find yourself keen to do so. You could use a different grain, quinoa or barley, for example. You could use different veggies, cheeses, or spices. You could even add meat (or at least cook your grains in chicken broth). Mess around with it, see what you like. Next time, I might add blue cheese crumbles. Yum.