In the Kitchen with TLC: Pick a Pepper!

November 12, 2015

This week, we’re excited to bring you a recipe for Stuffed Peppers by Susan Reda from Learning Outside, a TLC partner organization providing outdoor environmental education experiences at TLC’s J. Logan and Elinor Moore Irvin Nature Preserve in Orange County.

By Susan Reda

The Learning Garden at TLC’s Irvin Farm exploded with vibrant vegetables and flowers throughout the summer and some hearty plants were producing well into September and October. During an early fall visit to the garden, I was inspired by the shiny red and green sweet peppers thriving in the garden, to create a recipe for stuffed peppers. Easy and quick to prepare, I suggest tucking one into a lunch bag, offering as a crunchy afternoon snack or heating up for a colorful side dish for dinner. The stuffed peppers are vegetarian and pack a protein punch via quinoa and lentils.

stuffed_peppers_blog

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup cooked lentils
½ cup chopped peppers
1 Tbsp chopped basil or parsley
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
4 to 6, four to six inch sweet peppers, sliced in half, ribs and seeds removed
1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (Feta, cheddar, or mozzarella)

Directions:
Place first 8 ingredients in medium bowl and gently toss until well combined. Spoon and press mixture into cavities of prepared peppers. Top with cheese, as desired. Place peppers on baking sheet and run under broiler until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

For a late fall/early winter version replace the sweet peppers with squash:
Instead or 4 to 6 sweet peppers, choose 4 grapefruit-sized squash such as acorn, kabocha, sweet dumpling or delicata. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the squash in half from stem to root and scoop out the seeds (tip: save the seeds and roast for a delicious snack). Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with foil and place the dish in the oven. Roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, 30 to 50 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on squash. Let the squash cool until they can be handled. Spoon and press mixture into the squash halves. Top with cheese, as desired. Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet and run under broiler until cheese is melted. Adaptation from The Kitchn.

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