Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

I just can’t get enough of the Cubanelle peppers this time of year. And there’s something about the grill that just makes all vegetables and fruits shine. If you still haven’t fallen in love with the peppers – give this recipe a go. Or search up another variation of stuffed Cubanelles to find one that more closely aligns with your flavor palette. From beef stuff to sweet roasted, the endless varieties are not to be missed.

Ingredients
6 medium Cubanelle peppers
6 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup couscous (Israeli works well but any variety will do)
1 zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup feta, chopped or crumbled
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh torn basil
2 tbsp vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat grill then cut tops off peppers, about 1/2 inch. Remove and discard stem and seeds. Dice tops of peppers and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside bowl and cored peppers.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tsp oil on medium-high. Add garlic and couscous and stir until garlic is light golden and fragrant. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, grill peppers and zucchini: Grill cored peppers for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally until all sides are lightly charred. Remove peppers from grill and allow to cool at room temperature. Brush zucchini with 1/2 tsp oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and tender. Let zucchini cool slightly, dice and add to bowl with diced pepper tops.

Add couscous, beans, chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, basil, vinegar, remaining 4 tsp oil, black pepper and salt, if desired, to pepper-zucchini mixture. Mix well.

Stuff about 3/4 cup pepper-zucchini mixture into each grilled pepper; lightly pack filling throughout entire pepper until filling reaches the top. Wrap each pepper tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or a maximum of overnight. (Alternatively, carefully lay stuffed peppers in a shallow tray or dish, cover and refrigerate.)

Recipe posted in Clean Eating magazine online.

Radish Leaf and Basil Pesto

by Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot

I was a bit disappointed when my husband pulled out the radishes. I like nearly all other root vegetables, some more than others, but these peppery little knobs are not my favorite. After scouring my favorite cookbooks and websites for recipes, I felt sorely disappointed in the lack preparations that offered something more than just slicing and pairing with one’s favorite salad, sandwich or dip.

Things changed, however, when I focused instead on radish greens. As it turns out, the leaves of this little root are, in fact, edible and are perfect for making pesto! I found a great many radish leaf pesto recipes and decided to take the idea and make it my own. Pesto is, essentially, a puree of raw greens, nuts and hard cheese. So, I grabbed what I had on hand that fell into these three categories and this is what I came up with:

1 bunch radish greens

about 2 cups packed fresh basil

1/3 cup crunchy, unsalted almond butter

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 large cloves garlic

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

All you need to do is clean your greens, peel your garlic, toss everything in the food processor, and blend until smooth. You can save your pesto to use as sandwich spread or a snack with crackers (you could even dip those sliced raw radishes into their own pesto!), or turn it into a quick dinner like I did by mixing it into your favorite pasta.

Now it’s your turn!

Start with this basic equation: radish greens + nuts + hard cheese = pesto. Post your radish leaf pesto variations in the comments below and tell us how you use it!

Party On My Plate

There’s not a heck of a lot to say about this except it was so good, I made it two days in a row. I am a dirty repeater like that. I found myself rationing out the radishes and strawberries so I’d have enough for more salads. Mission accomplished. Oh, and it kind of looks like a little party, I think.  It’s a very celebratory salad.

The inspiration for this came from So Good and Tasty‘s blog, and I basically took the core ingredients from it, and then did a little tweaking.

Change the proportions as you like, of course.

  • ~2 cups of romaine, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 5 large radishes, quartered
  • 1 scallion, diced (I used white and green parts)
  • 2 tbsp cashews, roughly chopped
  • good handful of basil, thinly sliced
  • mozzarella cheese, diced into small pieces

For the dressing, I mixed together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and grapeseed oil with a pinch of salt and pepper each. I don’t measure a lot, but it’s easy to adjust to taste and whisk up.

So, combine your salad, top with dressing right before serving. I love the sweet, salty, bitter, crunchy combination. Truth be told I can eat the whole thing myself (though it’s probably 2 servings). And the 2nd day I made this, that’s  just what I did.

Beauty Food

I think of this greens and quinoa salad as a beauty food. Kale and broccoli are wonderful for your skin: it’s all the Vitamin C, A, and K. Add in some quinoa and all those happy amino acid chains, and you have a lovely lunch. I chopped up some tomatoes for lycopene, and a little mozzarella for….fun. But let’s call it calcium.

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup kale, deveined and cut into strips
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 good fistful of basil (I have really no idea how much that is), julienned
  • 1 tbsp really good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add kale and broccoli. You’ll want to blanch for one minute, then drain. I rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process (mainly because I never have ice cubes for an ice bath). Combine quinoa, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Makes 2 servings.

Accidentally Vegan, Intentionally Delicious.

Sometimes I make organic meat or fish with dinner. Sometimes, I don’t. After an 18 year stint being vegetarian, I still lean that way, as you know. So sometimes, I don’t really remember that I forgot to “make meat”. And that’s ok with us! We try to live by the idea that you shouldn’t take more than you need (this applies to both meat consumption and taking too many papertowels). Does that sound preachy? Not really meant to, but with overfishing, and the practices of most farms…it can be downright scary. Know your sources, I say. And who needs 3 servings of meat a day? Well, it’s not us, we know that much.

Somedays we can’t get enough fish! Other days, we don’t notice we didn’t have any. But sometimes, I make a delicious dinner and realize – hey! I didn’t even add cheese. That kind of feels like a win to me, espescially when it’s so filling and SO GOOD. I love being all flexitarian (I went there!) for reasons like this dinner, right here.

Orange Herbed Salad:

spinach

orange segments

avocado

Herbs: cilantro, basil and mint

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil (or any oil you prefer)

Mix salad ingredients together (in portion sizes needed), and lightly dress if desired. I can tell you I’ve made this salad three times in the last week. I took it for lunch twice with a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese on the side, and it was seriously delicious. I don’t kid about food being good.

My inspiration for this next dish came from Cate, of Cate’s World Kitchen. I know it’s not really the same, but credit where credit is due. And this was my jumping point.

Pesto Quinoa:

3/4 cup of cooked quinoa (you can use any color you prefer)

1/2 head of lacinato kale, cut into thin ribbons

2 cups of mushrooms

For the pesto:

~1.5 cups of basil, loosely packed

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup walnuts

salt and pepper

While the quinoa is cooking, sautee the kale and mushrooms until the kale is pliable and the stems are easily chewed (about 10 minutes). In a blender/food processor, combine the pesto ingredients and puree until smooth. Combine quinoa, kale and mushrooms and pesto. That’s about it!