Delectable Stuffed Bell Peppers
Just a little check in today along with one of my all time favorite recipes (one of which I am hoping to get a recipe video up soon!). It’s been a wonderful holiday so far: a great mélange of me-time by the healing ocean side in Jeffrey’s Bay doing all the Yoga, relaxing, reading and unwinding after a long and busy term of Uni and then also being busy seeing friends, going to shows and walking the busy market streets of the Grahamstown Arts Festival which was a treat. There was a hectic cold front which had me absolutely freezing my bum off most of the time – buuut, I managed by taking my hot water bottle with me everywhere I went: tucked neatly into my pants or under my shirt. Or by soaking my feet & hands in hot water and aiding my creaky cold ankles by doing little bouts of twenty minute yoga flows here and there as well as some calf raises to try get the blood flowing there. It was a vibe.
I did see some great shows (also some not-so-great ones) and caught some wonderful jazzy tunes at the Village Green. Wow, watching those musicians playing completely transported me to another world. Seeing the magic that happens on stage when people share a medium as powerful and boundary-shattering as music was truly spectacular. But then I got to this point where Hunny and I had both had enough of people, things, busy-ness and chaos and we hopped back into the car and sped off back to Jeffrey’s Bay. Thank goodness. The serenity of the ocean was calling me and boy was I happy to be back in the quiet, warm space that sometimes feels more like home than “home” does.
I now have one more week of holiday before heading back to town and back to Term 3 of University which is going to be even busier because I am going to be working on some Yoga retreats, taking up an extra weekly Yoga class, hosting a 7-week Yoga course working through all the chakras and then also taking on an extra subject. Hectic. Just overwhelmed myself a bit there. A comforting thought is that I am in a stable place within myself, so I feel like I can approach my daily life with more clarity and depth of awareness & understanding than before which no doubt makes it more do-able. I plan on working on some blog posts over the next few days so that I can still try and maintain some consistency with my posting of recipes & blog posts throughout the term, but if I struggle to maintain the consistency, you know why :P
Anyway, now I am determined to get some delicious recipes out for you guys because I have a backlog of many recipes that are either on the waiting list ready to be written or are half written – a result of my attempts to share recipes during busy term time. This is one of my favorite recipes – it’s a go-to one of mine that I’ve fallen in love with over the last few months. It always makes me feel very satisfied and happy after eating it and sharing it with friends and family. It’s fun, quick and easy to make and is quite budget-friendly, too. Especially if there are many of you contributing/eating. It serves about 3-4 people (assuming that each person has about two halves). If you’re serving a bunch of other dishes too you can make it stretch to 6 people (assuming each person has one half). This is a great recipe to replace any previous “meaty” meal with because it can be quite substantial and hearty. It’s also protein-rich due to the lentils, black beans, peas, tahini & almonds. All of these (along with the myriad of other veggies and goods) contribute to making it a real winner and nutrient-powerhouse of a dish.
In other exciting news: me and a friend actually filmed this as a recipe video – however due to both of our busy schedules the editing and completing of the video has unfortunately taken a back seat for now. But I am hoping to get it to you guys, soon! Along with some Yoga videos – hopefully :D
For the peppers:
· 1 x tin black beans (or equivalent in freshly cooked black beans)
· 1 x tin lentils (or equivalent in freshly cooked lentils)
· ½ cup green peas, thawed from frozen or fresh
· 3 medium-large bell peppers (color of your choice I used yellow & red)
· 3 stalks celery, washed
· 1 medium-large carrot
· 6-8 halves of delicious sundried tomatoes in vinaigrette
· 2 big spring onions
· 1 big garlic clove
· 1/8 cup of dried cured olives (or normal olives in brine)
· 1 tsp cumin, ground
· 1 tsp coriander, ground
· ½ tsp paprika, ground
· 50g of slivered almonds (half a cup), toasted lightly in a pan until golden brown
· 40g rocket (or half of a standard packet)
· Cherry tomatoes to serve
· 3 tablespoons tahini
· 2 tablespoons soy sauce
· ½ lemon, juiced
· 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or another chili sauce)
For the Sauce:
· 100g raw or roasted cashews, soaked overnight (raw is preferred as it takes on more flavor that you add while roasted cashews require more salt and flavoring and lose some of their nutrients during the roasting process)
· 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
· 1 tablespoon dark miso paste
· 1 tablespoon soy sauce
· 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
· 1 tablespoon dried thyme
· ½ block silken tofu
· 1 big garlic clove
· 1 tsp coconut oil
· ¾ cup of water
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees farenheit.
2. Place your cashews in a bowl with warm water to soak while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
3. Start by making your filling – rinse & drain the beans & lentils (if using canned) and place into a big bowl. Next, dice your celery & carrot and add that to the beans. Now add in the peas, the chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spring onion and minced garlic. Add in the spices. Mix well.
4. Now add in the tahini, soy sauce, chili, lemon juice & salt. Mix and taste. Adjust seasoning. Your filling is now done. You can also add in some additional herbs of your choosing if you'd like to.
5. Half your bell peppers and take out the inside white parts and the seeds so that there is more space for filling. Place the halves on a lined baking tray and fill with the filling. Place into the oven and bake until cooked through. I usually slightly under-cook my bell peppers because I like them to maintain some crunch-factor (but still be hot and warm and cooked and delish). While they are baking, move onto your sauce.
6. In a small sauce pan, place the coconut oil and bring to heat. Now add in the sliced garlic and let it sizzle until it starts browning gently. Now add in the dried thyme and cook for about 15-20 seconds until fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic or the thyme as this will change the flavor profile of the sauce). Now add this garlicky-goodness to a blender or nutribullet along with the soaked, drained cashews and all of the other sauce ingredients. Blend on high until a smooth and creamy sauce is made. If you’re looking for a more “cheesy” flavor, you can add some nutritional yeast, too. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your palette.
7. When the halved bell peppers are done and ready to come out of the oven, top with toasted flaked almonds and a big drizzling of the sauce and serve on a fresh bed of rocket and sliced cherry tomatoes.
8. TUCK IN AND ENJOY!!