Monday, 11 November 2013

Just Stuff It!!

We've had a few big and fancy dinners over the last couple of weeks and have probably drunk too much over the Spring Racing Carnival, so it's time to settle down and have something simple and slightly healthier.

Just because something is simple and healthy, doesn't mean that it has to taste bland and boring! We try to do a vego meal at least once a week, so I thought that tonight would be perfect for that. After a great lamb Rogan Josh and roast pork with crispy crackling on the weekend, something lighter was definitely in order! Thanks to my beautiful husband for his weekend cooking adventures when I was at a course for the two days.

I have made stuffed capsicums in the past and shared one of my recipes with you a while ago. On that occasion, I stuffed them with a mixture of goat mince, onion, garlic and herbs. This time, to make a vegetarian version, I've stuffed them with chickpeas, feta, onion, garlic, spinach and fresh oregano.  The filling has enough substance to make them hearty, without being too dense. When roasted, the capsicums give off their beautiful sweetness and the juices mix in with the filling.

Top it all with a blob of Greek yoghurt, a sprinkling of sumac and a light salad, and you have the perfect dinner. I decided to go with rocket, roasted tomato and toasted pinenut. Other roasted vegies that you cook at the same time would be perfect too. You could also make this as a weekend lunch when you don't want anything too difficult or heavy. 

I chose medium sized red capsicums, but depending on how hungry you are, you could choose larger ones. If you wanted, you could even use the little baby ones in red, yellow or green to make pretty appetisers for a party. With Christmas coming up, the colour scheme would be perfect for a festive get together!

Depending on the size of your capsicums, you'll probably have some of the filling left over. Heat it up in a pan or the microwave and serve it with a dollop of yoghurt and some fresh crusty bread for lunch.

Vegetarian Stuffed Roasted Capsicums

2 medium red capsicums
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A handful of fresh oregano, chopped
A handful of fresh spinach, chopped
400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp sumac, plus extra for sprinkling
100g feta, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil spray
Greek yoghurt and salad to serve

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
To prepare the capsicum, cut the tops off them so you have a base with a lid. Remove the membrane and seeds from the inside.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion until starting to soften.
Add the garlic for another minute until it becomes fragrant.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the chickpeas, oregano, spinach, feta, sumac and salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the feta is salty, so you might not need much salt.
Fill the capsicums with the chickpea mixture until it reaches the top. Pack it in so it's quite firmly filled as it will shrink down during cooking.
Place the capsicums and lids on a baking tray and spray with the oil spray.
Bake for about 30 mins, or until the capsicums are softened and slightly charred. You might need to take the lids out of the oven before the bases to stop them burning.

To serve, place a capsicum on a plate, dollop Greek yoghurt on the top, sprinkle with sumac and replace the lid.
Serve with a simple salad.

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