Hearty Grain-Filled Peppers
Sometimes healthy recipes may not appeal to everyone. They may not be filling, not flavourful, not satisfying, yada yada. I recently discovered The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook which is filled with healthy recipes that highlight using fruits and vegetables while not overloading on salt and fats. So far the recipes have turned out well, and this is the first one I am going to share. However, I felt that this one needed some tinkering to give it that extra oomph.
First of all, this is a simple dish of stuffed red peppers with a bulgur filling. I loved the sweetness from the red peppers as they were roasted with the filling. However, there was a lot of filling, so you need more peppers than the recipe called for.. unless, I just happened to use small peppers. Otherwise, the filling was good but not incredibly flavourful. I added in extra ingredients to soup up the flavour – some chili powder, fresh basil and oregano. Now we’re talking. Sometimes I skimp on the garnishes, but I felt that the yogurt and seeds definitely added a textural contrast to the dish that lifted it to the next level.
Hearty Grain-Filled Peppers
4 cups water
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups bulgur wheat
8-oz. mushrooms (I used shiitake but any kind will do), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced or (14 1/20z.) canned diced tomatoes,
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I omitted this but it probably would have up’ed the flavour)
1 tsp chili powder (I think this should be added)
1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped (I think this should be added)
1/8 cup fresh oregano, chopped (I think this should be added)
1/3 cup raisins
6-10 red bell peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded
6 Tbsp. plain fat-free yogurt (omit to make vegan, but I think this added a lot of flavour/texture contrast)
1 Tbsp. sunflower or pumpkin seeds, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the water, cinnamon and cumin to a
boil. Stir in the bulgur. When the water returns to a boil, reduce heat to
low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley and chili powder, basil and oregano (if using). Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir the mushroom mixture and raisins into the cooked bulgur.
5. Arrange the bell peppers halves in a single layer, cut side up, in the
dish. Divide the bulgur mixture among the bell peppers, mounding slightly. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 45 minutes.
6. To serve, place 2 bell pepper halves on individual plates. Top each
with 1/2 Tbsp. of yogurt and garnish with seeds.