Monday, March 2, 2009

A Few Things Worth Sharing...


We've been trying some new things around here and, although I haven't really fully documented the preparation, I did snap a few finished product shots here and there.

I really, really, really love to use my slow cooker.  You may call it a crock pot (my Mom always has), but something about that name has always turned me off.  Maybe because the work 'crock' seems rather offensive and negative to me.  Either way, the slow cooker is such a useful kitchen tool because it does all the work for you.  I use mine for dried beans, chili, soup, you name it, but I had never tried something like stuff peppers before.  I saw a similar recipe for slow-cooked red peppers, stuffed with couscous, but I thought I'd try quinoa instead.  I also went with organic green peppers (capsicum) because they were available at my local co-op.  You can leave out the feta or use a vegan substitute to make this vegan.

Slow-cooked Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cannellini Beans & Quinoa

4 large bell peppers
half a cup quinoa
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 can cannellini beans or about 15 ounces cooked dried beans
6-8 mushrooms, chopped
half of a large onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper
1/8 to 1/4 cup veggie broth (or water)

Cut off the top and stem of the peppers and remove the seeds and ribs.  If your peppers don't stand on their own, you may want to slice a little off the bottom, so they're flat and will stand up on their own.  

In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients and then stuff very generously into each pepper.  Stand stuffed peppers up in slow cooker and cook on low for about 5 hours.  


Another meal we've been wanting to try is something that we love at our favorite local Thai restaurant....Masaman curry tofu.  This was a HUGE success, so now we have the much cheaper option to make it at home.  All of the ingredients for this meal were purchased at two small grocers that we like to patronize in support of small businesses instead of massive grocery store chains (well, that and because we probably couldn't even find the Masaman paste anywhere else!).   Shout out to Fooks Foods and the Supermercado Jalisco!


Vegan Masaman Curry Tofu (this is enough to generously feed 4 healthy eaters)

2 bricks of tofu
1 avocado
1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts (most recipes use cashews, but we didn't have any)
half a bunch of green onions
1  14 oz. can coconut milk
1  4 oz. can Masaman curry paste
soy sauce
3 garlic cloves
1 thumb fresh ginger
2 cups jasmine rice

First cube and cook your tofu with some soy sauce and then refrigerate (this will give the tofu a better texture).  In a sauce pan, cook the chopped garlic and ginger with a little olive oil and then add the Masaman paste.  After a few minutes the paste will start to liquify.  Add the coconut milk and then bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let the sauce thicken.  Add the cooked tofu to the sauce and then add the nuts and avocado at the very end (you don't need to cook these).  Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.  


Here's a little snack we've been fond of lately.  So simple, but really delicious.  Take some dried dates and split open to removed the pit and then stuff with really sharp cheddar.  You can take this even further by also putting half a pecan in there and then drizzling with a balsamic vinegar reduction!!  


Happy cooking!!


JMB said...

Yum, yum, yum!! all of it looks so tasty!

LA Reed said...

Ha, Meg has been looking for a recipe to use this quinoa she bought and is very proud of :)

brandi p said...

KELLI!!!! we tried the stuffed peppers in the "slow cooker" after I almost dumped the thing because I usually HATE the way food tastes after the CROCK does its thing... BUT... the peppers were AWESOME!

good call!