Thursday, November 25, 2010

couscous-stuffed, feta-topped paprikas



not to fear, dear friends and loyal fans, the hobbit is back with a dish that was made last week, but which was so tasty that it took me this long to be able to write about it without shedding a small tear of nostalgic joy.

the days are getting shorter, the nights more frigid, and the rain... well the rain has stayed its constant self (this is bremen after all) (zing!). i notice how my interest in eating salad is inversely related to how many layers of socks i need to survive the day. as such, it's always nice to find warm, healthy dishes that still pack a degree of veggie and vitamins. this dish offers both nutritional value and the endlessly fun task of stuffing one thing into another. and adding cheese!

it's also tres easy, and the recipe could easily be adapted depending on what vegetables you have. i know because we adjusted this (divine-looking) recipe and it turned out simply splendid!

get your hands on:

4 large peppers
veggie cooking spray
1 cup couscous
1 1/4 cup water
1 cube vegetable broth
a few tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini
2/3 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup fresh herbs
(parsley or chives work great)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 can chickpeas
3 tbsp pureed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking dish with cooking spray. cut off the tops of peppers and scoop out seeds (and all that gunk). place the peppers upright in the baking dish and let the roast in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, until they start to soften up.

meanwhile, begin cooking the couscous by bringing your water to a boil, adding in some vegetable broth and then couscous. cover the pan and remove it from the heat to let the couscous cook. in another skillet, cook your veggies! add the onion, zucchini, and mushrooms and let cook for 5 minutes. turn the heat down and stir in your tomatoes, chickpeas, herbs, and tomato sauce (and you can do your salt and pepper now too). combine with the couscous and let cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.

fill the peppers with the couscous mixture, top with bits of feta, and bake for 20 minutes.

eat immediately, but first let your friend assemble them in a beautiful fashion to enhance the dining experience. (p.s. see those orange slivers to the side? those are sweet potato fries! that recipe coming soon….)