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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stuffed Green Peppers with Brown Rice, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan


1 C long-grain brown rice (I used Uncle Ben's Brown Rice, but any long-grain rice will work.)
4 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
2 links (about 8 ounces) turkey Sweet Italian Sausage (or other sausage of your choice. Use diced mushrooms instead of sausage for vegetarian version.)
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1/2 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Cook rice according to package directions, or using a rice cooker. (Rice can be cooked ahead and used in this recipe later.)
Preheat oven to 375F. Trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. Cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. Place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you've sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil. (A dish that's close in size to the peppers will work best.)
Remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet, then saute diced pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes, until they are starting to soften but aren't browned. Remove pepper-onion mixture to a bowl, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of the casing and cook until it's lightly browned, breaking apart with the back of the turner.
Put the onion-pepper mixture back into the pan with the sausage, add the dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add cooked rice and Parmesan cheese, season the mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook just long enough to warm, about 1-2 minutes.
Stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it's tightly packed into the pepper shell. (A few years ago I stopped pre-cooking the peppers before stuffing, and now I prefer peppers that are stuffed raw.) If you have any extra filling, you can put it in a small ramekin and bake along with the peppers. Bake peppers for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.
You can freeze leftover peppers for a month or two, although the frozen peppers will be a little softer in texture (but still very tasty.) I cut them in half top-to-bottom before freezing and freeze two halves in a small baking dish with a snap-on lid.

Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Quiche

By: Budget Bytes
8 oz Mushrooms
1/2 tsp minced garlic
non-stick spray 
1 box frozen spinach
4 large eggs
1 C Milk
 2 oz feta cheese
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1/2 C shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If your frozen spinach is not already thawed, thaw it in the microwave. Empty the box into a colander and let it drain while you begin to prepare the rest.
 Quickly rinse the mushrooms and slice them thinly. Place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet coated with non-stick spray, add the minced garlic, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and no more water remains on the bottom of the skillet (5-7 minutes).
Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray. Squeeze the rest of the water out of the spinach and spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish. Next add the cooked mushrooms and crumbled feta.
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth. Add the milk, parmesan, and another small sprinkle of pepper. Whisk to combine. (This step can be completed while the mushrooms are cooking) Pour this mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta.
Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet for easy transfer into the oven. Place the quiche into the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top and the center is solid. Every oven is different but this should take between 45 minutes and an hour. Slice and serve!

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

By: Delish
1 Lemon
1/2 C. sugar
1 C nonfat buttermilk
1/3 C Canola Oil
1 Large Egg
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 C white whole-wheat, flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
1 C All -Purpose flout
2 teasp baking powder
1 teasp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C Fresh or Frozen raspberries.  
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat 12 large muffin cups with cooking paper liners.  
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (I used grater). Combine zest and sugar and mix.  Add buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla in a bowl and mix until well blended.  Combine whole-wheat flout, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended.  Gently fold in raspberries.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  
Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.  Serve warm.