Savory Stuffed Peppers
Peppers are easy to stuff because they are hollow, with a large opening. This stuffing is sharp and pungent, with exactly the right amount of seasoning.
Serves: 4 servings
- 4 large green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon dried brown lentils, cleaned
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/3 cup grated nonfat or regular Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted soy nuts or walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (1 pound) unsalted tomato sauce
- To make the filling, place the lentils and broth in a 1-quart pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the broth has been absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat.
- Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, celery, garlic, and thyme, and stir to mix. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to brown and release their juices. Add a few teaspoons of water or broth if the skillet seems too dry.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in first the rice and lentils, and then the Parmesan cheese. Stir in the nuts, and set aside.
- Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove and discard the seeds and membranes. Divide the filling among the peppers, and replace the pepper tops.
- To make the sauce, stir the thyme and salt into the tomato sauce. Arrange the peppers upright in an 8-x-8-inch casserole dish, and pour the sauce around the peppers. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for about 1 hour, or until the peppers are tender. Serve hot.
Excerpted from The Best-Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. Copyright Ã¯Â¿Â½ 2000 by Sandra Woodruff.
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