Showing posts with label bell pepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bell pepper. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Goat Cheese and Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Apparently, the husband is the real cook of the household(s), because while I've been stuck in a repeat loop on old (and newer) favorites, he's been making up recipes left and right. Here's one that I've been promised upon my return to Kansas. (I asked for delivery, but apparently I'm outside the delivery radius. Hmph.)

4-6 Poblano peppers (use 4 if you want leftover stuffing to top with a fried egg the next day)
Olive oil
1 cup quinoa
1 large shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
10 oz canned black beans, drained
4 oz mild, soft goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the quinoa per package instructions.

Create a 1-2" opening in the top of each pepper and remove the seeds. Brush peppers lightly with olive oil, then broil for 7 minutes on each side. Let cool.*

In a nonstick pan, sauté the shallot for about a minute, then add the jalapeno, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté, stirring, until the peppers soften. Add the black beans and allow to warm through. Stir in the cooked quinoa, let warm, then mix in the goat cheese in small pieces to allow it to melt evenly. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the peppers with the quinoa-black bean mixture. Return to oven and broil an additional 8-10 minutes until heated through.

Serve warm. Pairs well with a Caprese salad.

The peppers reheat well in the microwave the next day. Or, reheat the leftover quinoa stuffing and top with a fried egg.

Serves 3-6.

*Helpful hint! If you store a rubber-handled saute pan in the oven because it's too big for the Kansas kitchen cupboards, you should remove the pan before you turn on the broiler. Even if you've been storing it there all summer and haven't turned on the oven yet and so you were thinking of it more as a cupboard than an oven. This PSA brought to you by Concerned Citizens for Oven Awareness.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Blog vs. Kansas, Round 2

Sauteed Corn with Cilantro and Avocado

Smoked Bacon and Mushroom Risotto

Black-Eyed Peas and Polenta

Sauteed Green Beans with Almonds and Balsamic Reduction

~Shopping Lists~
From Door-to-Door Organics: Local sweet corn, green beans, red onion, parsley, cilantro

From Whole Foods: Heirloom tomatoes, Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon, yellow lentils and black-eyed peas from a great bulk aisle, baby arugula, beautiful mushrooms

From Trader Joe's: Basmati rice, Trader Giotto's balsamic vinegar, sliced almonds

From Natural Grocers: Avocado, Bhutanese red rice, Imagine chicken and veggie broth, and assorted herbs and spices from a top-notch bulk spice selection.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Butter Beans with Sweet Peppers and Tomato

 Found in the garden: Sweet Italian heirloom peppers, tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley
Found in the cupboard: Red Bhutanese rice, butter beans
Found in self: A lazy summer reluctance to go anywhere near the store

Solution: Quick, easy, and delicious—variation #1,304 on rice and beans

Serve this over rice, orzo, or even polenta. Perfect for a night when you want something that tastes gourmet but can throw itself together in twenty minutes.

Olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1/3 cup chopped sweet pepper (bell or heirloom)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 oz fresh mild greens, chopped (e.g., chard, amaranth, and/or spinach)
1 can butter beans, mostly drained
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped*
1 tomato, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Heat a glug of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Saute shallot until it softens, then add the pepper and saute a minute more. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of salt (unless your beans are already highly salted) and continue to cook for another minute or two, then fold in the greens and saute until wilted.

Add the beans, stir, and simmer 2-3 minutes, covering the pan if it starts to get dry. Toss in the parsley, tomato, and another pinch of salt, cook for another minute to heat through, and turn off the heat. Serve layered over rice or pasta, and top with pepper and a little grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2.

*Like any fresh herb that isn't from a supermarket, the amount you want will depend on the particular bunch. Bite into a leaf. If it's potent (young and recently-picked), use a small handful. If it's very mild (older and picked awhile ago), use a larger handful. Or just start with a small handful and adjust to taste as you cook.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Red Rice and Black Beans with Peppers and Cilantro

There are few things as simple, hearty, inexpensive, and roundly delicious as rice and beans. Here's one of our favorite versions yet.

For the rice:
Combine 1 cup red Bhutanese rice and just barely under 1 1/4 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. (You can substitute brown rice, but red is worth seeking out if you haven't tried it before.)

For the beans:
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 green bell or Anaheim pepper, chopped
Olive oil
1 can black beans
Handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese (Petaluma Creamery is still our all-time favorite)

Saute onion in a wide saute pan until translucent, then add peppers and continue sauteing until onion begins to lightly brown around the edges (more cooking brings out more flavor). Add the beans and salt to taste (unless beans are already highly salted) and stir. Turn down heat to low or very low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Serve in layers: rice, a sprinkling of cheese, beans, a sprinkling of cilantro, and the rest of the cheese over the top.

Serves 2.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Leftover Roasted Chicken Panini with Peppers and Caramelized Onion

Thanksgiving always raises a multitude of deep and important questions. Should the turkey be stuffed or unstuffed? Six side dishes or seven? Pumpkin pie or pecan? Why are the neighbors putting up Christmas lights before Thursday, and if they're planning that far ahead, where are their Valentine's day decorations? And is there any way to gracefully uninvite your cousin's sister's nephew's socially awkward girlfriend from coming to dinner, or at least to misdirect her GPS so she ends up at someone else's house?

But perhaps the most pressing question tends to emerge unexpectedly the day after Thanksgiving, just when we have been lulled into a false sense of tryptophan-imbued security. It's the question of leftovers. In particular, it is the question of what on earth to DO with all the leftovers. Especially after the fourth helping of leftovers shows no sign of diminishing the vast store left in the fridge.

Obviously, the best answer is the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Until you consider that this sandwich could be grilled, and then you realize the Thanksgiving leftover PANINI is the best answer. (Paninis, incidentally, are the answer to 83.4% of the world's leftover problems, according to recent numbers I made up in my head while eating one.)* The other answer is not to make a turkey in the first place, but this is considered weird and unpatriotic if you're not a vegetarian and you might not want to admit to it outright on, for example, a blog. Despite the fact that a discerning reader might notice the lack of turkey in the recipe that follows. But you could totally make this with a turkey. If you had one. Which many people do.

Ingredients (per sandwich)
2 slices good-quality whole grain bread
Olive oil
Leftover roasted chicken, sliced or pulled into pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
A little pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese, grated (optional)
1/4 red onion and 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced into thin half rings and sauteed in olive oil until very sweet
A few baby mustard greens (or sub mustard frisee, arugula, or spinach)

Preheat your panini grill to medium-high. Lightly brush one side of the each bread slice with olive oil (these will become the outside of your panini). Layer your ingredients on the dry side of one of the bread slices: A light scattering of jack cheese first against the bread, then chicken seasoned with black pepper to taste, then sauteed onion and peppers, then a few greens, then the second piece of bread (olive oil side up).

Sandwich your sandwich inside your panini grill and press down lightly until the grill is fully against the bread. Grill until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot.

*You might reply: "Oh, but I don't have a panini grill." To which I would helpfully suggest: "You should totally get a panini grill." To which you might respond: "Oh, but I don't know if I would use it." Which is when I would say: "You know, I think I read somewhere recently that you could solve 83.4% of your leftover problems if you invested in a panini grill, and paninis are just regular old sandwiches that you would make anyway thrown on a grill for a couple minutes, which transmogrifies them into an infinitely more delicious, warm, grilled, succulent, wonderful, amazing, fantastically ambrosial meal." To which you would respond: "Oh, really? I'm completely convinced! What panini grill do you have?" And I would say "I'm thrilled that you're convinced! Our panini grill is a De'Longhi, which is hard to spell and I'm not sure if I have done so correctly, but it makes good paninis regardless." And then we would probably stop conversing because we'd notice that we were only hypothetical and get distracted by whether a panini imagined by imaginary people would taste the same as a real panini, which is one of those Buddhist koans you don't hear as frequently as the hand-clapping thing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled Veggies and Chicken over Quinoa

Hey guess what? It's summer. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but it's clearly high time we put things on skewers and grilled them.

Also, just in case you've been pining for new ways to express your support for the blog, voila: Visit this website, and click "Like" near the top of the page. And as always, you can Follow the blog by clicking the button to the right, either to actually follow via Google or as just a virtual wave to say hi and that you enjoy it here.

Incidentally, I'm completely delighted by the wave of new readers (hello!) as well as by those of you who have been regulars for awhile now and keep coming back. I kept thinking, when I started this, that either nobody was ever going to read it, or that to get readers, I'd have to do one of those advertising thingies (so that someone somewhere would put up a link to my blog in exchange for me advertising Rice-A-Roni or whatever at the top of the page...which struck me as slightly ridiculous for a blog that's purportedly about whole foods). So, let me just take a moment and thank you all so much for reading and cooking along with me. Without you, I would've gone back to easy microwave dinners sometime last October and thought back nostalgically from time to time to the few months I actually did what I wanted to do with food and cooking.

But that wasn't the point. The point was skewers. This combination is delicious, and I like that the meat ends up being a complement to the meal rather than the main focus.

2 pastured chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
Zest and juice of 1/2 Eureka lemon
1 tbsp chopped green garlic (or sub 1-2 cloves garlic, pressed)
1-2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
Ñora pepper (if you have it)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced in half again lengthwise and then quartered into wedges (you want squares that are about as big as the chicken pieces)
1 bell pepper, cut into squares (same as above)
Olive oil

Olive oil
1 tbsp chopped green garlic (or sub 1-2 cloves garlic, pressed)
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
Ñora pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 portobello mushrooms, brushed clean and stems cut off
Summer squash (.25 lbs or a bit less), thickly sliced (about 1/2" thick -- cut pattypans crosswise into circles; zucchinis lengthwise into long strips)

1/2 cup red quinoa
1/2 cup white quinoa
1 cup veggie or chicken broth
A little less than 1/2 cup water
4-6 sorrel leaves, thinly sliced crosswise into ribbons (optional)

Whisk together a glug or two of olive oil with the lemon juice, and then stir in the zest, garlic, rosemary, ñora, salt, and black pepper. Pour over the chicken, toss to coat evenly, and let marinate for an hour or two in the fridge.

About half an hour before you want to take the chicken out, rinse the quinoa and then soak in room temperature water for about ten minutes. Next, whisk together the ingredients for the veggie marinade, and brush over the vegetables (including the onion and pepper). Make sure to let a little marinade soak down into the gills of the portobellos.

Take a couple pieces of the onion and pepper and chop them (I use any pieces that ended up too small or weirdly shaped for the skewers). Rinse and drain the quinoa. Heat a smallish pot over medium heat, and add a glug of olive oil, followed by the onion and pepper. Saute until soft. Stir in the quinoa, saute for another minute, and then add the broth and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill on high. Push the chicken onto skewers, separating each piece with a pepper on one side and an onion on the other. Grill the skewers, mushrooms, and squash slices, turning to let all sides cook evenly.

Just before serving, stir the sorrel into the quinoa. Use as a bed for the chicken and veggies.

Serves 3.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Peppers and Greens

I know this shouldn't come as a shock, but plants, it turns out, have leaves. Or in other (slightly less obvious-sounding) words, we often ignore the leaves of non-leafy plant foods, like beets or amaranth grain, and are for some reason surprised when they turn out to be both edible and delicious (or in the case of amaranth greens, to exist in the first place).

Case in point: Fava greens, which turned up in our CSA box this week for the second time, and which are my new favorite throw-a-handful-into-just-about-anything vegetable. They're similar in this way to spinach or amaranth greens, with a very mild, fresh taste and a lovely fava beany scent when raw.
If they come in clumps, like ours did, you may want to separate the individual leaves from the stem before cooking. We added them to a new recipe for spaghetti squash last night, while we continued our search for oven leprechauns.

1 medium spaghetti squash
Olive oil
Pasture butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
A big bunch of fava greens, amaranth greens, or spinach (all will cook down quite a bit, so use more than you think)
1/2 tsp ñora pepper
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve the spaghetti squash and brush cut surface with olive oil, then place face down on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-50 minutes, depending on size, until a fork inserts with little resistance (you want it to be tender but not mushy, or the noodles won't retain their shape). Let cool for a few minutes, then gently remove seeds with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat a glug of olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until it softens, then add the garlic and a small pat of butter and cook for a minute more. Stir in the peppers, cook for a couple of minutes, then add about half of the fava greens and fold in with the peppers until they begin to wilt. (If you need a bit more liquid in the pan, add just a little chicken broth or white wine). Next, add the ñora pepper, half the parsley, a pinch of salt, and a liberal dousing of black pepper.

Gently scoop the spaghetti squash out of its rind with a big spoon, and add to the peppers and greens mixture. Use the spoon and a spatula to gently pull apart the strands of the squash and mix them into the greens. Add the rest of the greens and more parsley to taste, stir until the greens just begin to wilt, sprinkle with some Parmesan, and toss one last time. Serve hot, topped with some more Parmesan and parsley.

Serves 2-3.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pan-fried Garbanzos with Peppers and Greens

By all rights, this should have been a disaster. Bok choy and garbanzo beans clearly don't mix, and I honestly don't understand my fascination with saffron or my inability to keep from throwing it into dishes in which it obviously does not belong. And yet instead of being disastrous, this dish turned out surprisingly well, and even bordered on addictive. Which actually probably explains my obsession with saffron...I tend to throw it in when it a dish is already moving in bizarre directions, and then when it turns out, I associate the resulting deliciousness with the pinch of fiery red strands I couldn't help but toss into the pan.

Serve this over black Forbidden rice or brown jasmine rice.

Olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
A couple generous sprinklings of black mustard seeds
A pinch of saffron, crumbled
1-2 bell peppers (white, red, purple, green, whatever), halved and sliced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, pressed
2-4 heads of bok choy, sliced crosswise into one-inch pieces
1/4-1/2 cup veggie broth
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large, wide pan over high heat. When hot, add the garbanzos and shake the pan to coat them with olive oil. Let sit for a minute, then shake again. Wait until a few start to pop, shake to stir, and wait again, adding a little more olive oil if necessary to keep the bottom of the pan coated. After several minutes, they should start to turn a little golden brown.

Next, add the mustard seeds and saffron, stir a few times, then add the peppers and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Turn the heat down and add the garlic, wait a few seconds, then stir to combine. Add the bok choy, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of broth, cover the pan, and let the greens steam for a minute or two until you can get a spatula under them to mix them in with the garbanzos. If the pan is dry, add a little more broth, stir, and cover to steam again for another minute or until greens have started to wilt. Uncover, stir-fry for another minute or so, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 2-3.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Soft Set Eggs with Shiitake Mushrooms and Amaranth Greens

Found at the coop: Amaranth greens. No idea what to do with these. The internets suggested something called callaloo soup, which was great fun to say, repeatedly (go on, you know you want to try it), but which was accompanied by some greenish-gray pictures that didn't look particularly appetizing. The next meal was breakfast, so we thought we'd put them in an omelette and see what happened (only we like revueltos, or Spanish soft set eggs, better than omelettes, so that's what this is).

Olive oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3-4 scallions, sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few shakes of crushed ñora pepper
Coarsely chopped amaranth greens (about 2 cups, or a little more)
4 pastured chicken eggs

Break the eggs into a bowl, leaving the yolks whole. You can make this with two whole eggs and two egg whites, or all whole eggs.

Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and toast for 10-15 seconds, stirring, then add the pepper and scallion and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the garlic, saute for another minute, then add the mushrooms, salt, black pepper, and ñora pepper. Cook until the mushrooms just start to release a little liquid, then add the amaranth greens and saute until just wilted.

Pour in the eggs, turn heat down to medium low, and slowly stir the eggs in with the vegetables. They should set softly as you stir. I like to break one yolk, stir once and wait for a moment, then break the next. You want the white and yellow to still be distinct when it's done.

After a minute or two, the eggs will have set. Serve hot.

Serves 2 for breakfast.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quinoa with Carrots and Pepper

This made a nice, simple, protein-laden backdrop to the other things we were cooking tonight (collard greens with applewood smoked bacon, above, and grilled vegetables. You can use the quinoa like a bed of rice and let them mix together a bit). If you wanted to make it more flavorful, you could use broth instead of water, and/or saute the vegetables separately and add them to the cooked quinoa at the end. 

Olive oil
1/4 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
4 scallions, sliced (white and light green parts) or 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, diced
2 handfuls Eden Organic canned chickpeas
Pinch or two of salt
1 scant tsp finely chopped oregano
1 cup red quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds (Trader Joe's does this for you, if you like having them on hand...they keep forever in the freezer)
Small tab (about 1/2 tsp) pasture butter

Rinse the quinoa, then soak it in cold water for 30 minutes (or hot water for 10, if you forget to do this ahead of time and are impatient for dinner. Hypothetically speaking). This helps remove the saponin, which coats the quinoa grains and can make them taste bitter, and also makes the quinoa cook more quickly later on.

Heat the olive oil in a smallish pot over medium heat. Add the pepper, garlic, and scallions, and saute for a couple of minutes, then add the carrot, chickpeas, salt, and half the oregano and saute for another minute or two. Add the quinoa, stir a few times, then add the water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low or just above low and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is done (if there is extra liquid left at the end, uncover pot and cook for a minute over medium heat to let it evaporate). Add remaining oregano and stir. Add almonds, switch off heat, stir in the butter, and serve.

Serves 3 (or 2 with some leftovers)