June 27, 2013

Black Rice Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed pepper might be one of the most popular veggie dishes on the internet and in cook books, maybe because of the colors and the fancy look it can bring to the dinner table. That is one of the reasons I like it too, though the more important reason to me is that my son loves bell pepper. He would happily even eat the sliced pieces raw. I usually stuff my peppers with a nutty, veggie stuffing and serve it as a side dish. Today though I was in a mood to make just a single dish, so I decided to use black rice. As it turned out, I made the dish with almost no fat. So I will need to make sure to have our good fat servings in our dessert ;-)
  • Bell peppers - 3 - red/yellow
  • Black rice - 1/2 cup
  • Spinach - 2 cups
  • Red onion - 1
  • Garlic -2-3 cloves
  • Chia seeds - 2 Tbs. (can be substituted with flaxseeds)
  • Homemade tomato-chilly sauce -1/2 cup (see note below)
  • Cook black rice with 1 cup of water using pressure cooker or a saucepan on stovetop. Let it cool a little bit.
  • Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic and spinach really fine.
  • Powder chia seeds using a coffee/spice grinder.
  • Once rice is cooked and cooled a little bit, add the veggies, half of the tomato sauce and chia seed powder. Mix well, add sea salt and pepper if needed. Keep this mixture aside for 5-10 minutes so that chia seed powder absorbs the moisture from the mixture and binds everything together.
  • Cut the peppers in half thru the stem. Scoop out everything from inside to make room for the stuffing. (You can chop this finely and mix this also to your  stuffing along with other veggies)
  • Divide the stuffing into 6 equal parts and fill into of the pepper halves.
  • Drizzle few drops of coconut oil on each and bake filled side up in a 370 degree toaster oven for about 15-20 minutes. Vary the time depending on how crisp or soft you  want the pepper to be.
  • Serve with the remaining half of the tomato sauce.

Homemade tomato-chilly sauce: 
Start cooking quartered tomatoes and red chillies. Cook covered (no need to add any water). Stir occasionally if necessary. Once the liquid is almost completely evaporated (in about 20-30 minutes) add sea salt and coconut palm sugar according to taste and remove from flame. Let it cool down and them grind to a smooth sauce. If I am planning to use tomato sauce for any of my recipes, I plan ahead an make the sauce either that morning or previous night. I have not tried keeping it for more than a day, but should refrigerate well for a few days. Proportions usually depend on how much I need and what am I going to use it for.

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