Elizabeth Arnott

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

I used to think that making stuffed peppers was a complicated business, but this recipe for baked red bell peppers stuffed with whole grain rice and feta cheese is very easy to make, looks fabulous and tastes delicious.  Try serving them with cucumber salad as a refreshing accompaniment.

Time: about 50 minutes for cooking the rice, plus 45 minutes preparation and baking time 
Serves: 2 
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Ingredients: 
2 large red bell peppers 
5 oz (140g) soft goat’s cheese 
2 – 3 tbspn fresh basil leaves (shredded) 
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped) 
½ cup (4 oz/100g) wholegrain rice (uncooked) 
olive oil for the salad 
½ cucumber (finely sliced) 
2 spring onions (sliced) 
handful of mint leaves (sliced into slivers) 
4 oz (115g) lettuce leaves 
black pepper 
Vinaigrette Salad Dressing 

Garnish: 1 oz (30g) toasted sesame seeds 

Method: 
  1. Boil the rice in 1½ cups (12 fl oz/300ml) water for about 50 minutes.  Allow to cool 
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350℉, 180℃, Gas mark 4 
  3. Slice each pepper vertically in half, remove cores and seeds, place cut side up on a baking tray.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until beginning to soften 
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the cheese, basil, garlic, black pepper and cooked rice 
  5. Spoon an equal amount of the rice mixture into each pepper half 
  6. Drizzle a little oil over each pepper half and return to the oven 
  7. Bake a further 20 minutes  
  8. For the salad, mix together the cucumber, spring onions and mint 
  9. Add 2 tbspns of the prepared vinaigrette to the cucumber salad and gently toss 
  10. Arrange lettuce leaves in a salad bowl, and arrange the cucumber mixture on top 
  11. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds 
  12. Serve the hot stuffed peppers with the cool cucumber salad 
Cook's tip:
I have a great recipe for Vinaigrette Dressing in the Detox Maintenance Collection - 130 Recipes from Around the World,  and in Detox Maintenance Recipe Collection - Book 7: Dressings, Sauces and Marinades


Aubergines (Eggplant) and Spiced Chickpeas with Pistachio Sauce

Smokey aubergines (eggplant), spicy chickpeas and a pistachio sauce -  a winning combination of textures and tastes.

Time: 60 minutes 
Serves: 2 
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Ingredients: 
2 aubergines (eggplant) 
14oz (400g) can chickpeas (drained) 14oz (400g) can chopped tomatoes 
4 tbspn olive oil 
1 onion (finely chopped) 
1 inch (2cm) piece ginger (peeled and grated) 
1 red chilli (seeded and finely chopped) 
½ tspn cumin powder 
½ tspn cinnamon powder 
½ tspn coriander powder 
juice of half a lemon 
8 oz (200g) goat's yogurt 
1 clove garlic (peeled and crushed) 
2 oz (60g) shelled pistachio nuts  
handful coriander leaves (chopped) 

Method: 
  1. Cut the stalk end off the aubergines and slice lengthways. Sprinkle a little salt over, to extract the bitter juices and set aside for about half an hour 
  2. Meanwhile, if the pistachios are salted, rinse under cold water, and pat dry 2. Heat 2 tbspn oil, gently sauté the onion until soft, about 8 minutes 
  3. Add the ginger, chilli and spices, mix well and continue cooking for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently 
  4. Stir in the chickpeas and tomatoes, simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened 
  5. Season and add the lemon juice 
  6. Rinse the salt off the aubergine slices, and pat dry 
  7. Heat and lightly oil a ridged grill pan (or barbecue).  Take each aubergine slice and brush with oil and season both sides.  Grill (in batches if necessary) until tender and golden, turning only once 
  8. For the sauce, roughly chop the pistachios, mix together with the yogurt, garlic and most of the coriander 
  9. To serve, arrange aubergine slices on a warmed serving dish, and spoon over the chickpeas and vegetables 
  10. Serve topped with pistachio sauce, garnished with coriander   
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