This recipe is going to be a bit chaotic because I was a bit crazy when I was making it. Basically I got home yesterday and saw what I had in the fridge and thought I would try making some red lentils I had hanging around. I could have sworn I had the lentils but they were nowhere to be found so this is what I came up with. Oh and I should mention these could be completely vegetarian and/or vegan!
Stuffed Peppers and Eggplant
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 medium red chili, halved and thinly sliced
- 4-5 cups cooked brown rice
- 1½ cups orzo, cooked until al dente
- 1 chopped tomato
- 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼-½ cup chopped fennel (I would have used more if I had it though)
- smokey paprika (I used about 1-2 tablespoons)
- cumin seed (maybe 1 teaspoon)
- fennel seed (maybe 1 teaspoon)
- ground nutmeg, (maybe ½ teaspoon)
- cayenne (to taste)
- 1 cube vegetable or chicken bullion dissolved in 1½ cups hot water
- 2-5 peppers (I only had two but there was a lot of rice and it could have easily filled more)
- 1-3 eggplants (if you’re only doing eggplants you could probably make around 3-4)
- chopped parsley (optional)
- low-fat sour cream (optional)
- cooking oil
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Saute the onion, chili and garlic in saucepan until they begin to become tender. I did add a little bit of butter here to enhance the flavor but that is entirely optional. I’m trying to clean out my fridge before we leave for Paris and was dumping things in left and right.
Add the spices – just eyeball it. I put approximate measurements but I really have no idea.
Saute for about a minute to allow the flavors to mix and then add the rice. Stir to mix and heat through. I used Uncle Ben’s pre-cooked brown rice so I needed let the kernels separate and heat through. If you’re using freshly made rice you won’t need to do this. Just stir to mix. Next dump in the orzo.
Stir through and add the tomato paste. Add the chopped tomato and fennel. Next slowly pour in the stock and stir frequently until liquid is absorbed. While waiting for liquid to absorb prepare your veggies. For the peppers I just cut out the stems and reserved them to replace once peppers were stuffed. I pulled out the membranes, seeds and then rinsed the insides. For the eggplant I cut off the stem and halved it and scraped out the insides. For the stuffed eggplant I chopped up the flesh I had scraped out and added it to the rice and allowed it to cook for a few minutes to soften it before stuffing the eggplant.
Once the liquid is absorbed your rice should look something like this:
Taste and add any seasoning if necessary. Stuff the peppers and replace the tops. At this point I put some olive oil in my hand and rubbed the peppers so that the skin was well oiled. For the eggplant I did the same thing and then stuffed them. I just stuffed each hollowed out half and them rolled them toward each other to minimize spillage. Place veggies in a glass baking dish. Bake for about 30-45 minutes until veggies are soft.
I served the eggplant with a little sour cream and chopped parsley. Enjoy.