Grilled Stuffed Peppers

Dinner is certainly more delicious when cooked outdoors, no? Serve up these grilled stuffed peppers with some sort of ice cold gluten-free beer (but be selective if you want a good one).

sweet-potato-and-stuffed-pepper

Grilled Stuffed Peppers

4 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup  almonds, walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dry brown basmati rice (or other rice)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups water
3 green onions, chopped
2/3 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh parsley
4 x 1 m (100 cm each) kitchen string, for securing peppers (if you don’t have kitchen string, hemp string soaked in water works perfectly)

Heat the oil in a medium pan and add the nuts, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add the rice, and continue to stir, until grains are glossy. Stir in the garlic, cooking for about 30 seconds more. Add the water and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, prepare the peppers. Cut around the stalk of the pepper, setting aside for later. Make one slit down the length of the pepper and open gently. Remove any seeds and membrane. Repeat with other peppers.

When rice is finished cooking, remove from heat, cool slightly, and stir in green onions, cherry tomatoes, basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon some stuffing into each pepper, careful not to overfill. Take string and wrap around the centre about three times, tying the pepper securely. There should be string left over on each end. Top with the stalk, then tie in the other direction, securing the filling. You want to ensure the filling doesn’t fall out — no matter how you end up tying it. Repeat with other peppers.

Preheat the barbecue to medium heat. Place peppers on grill for about 20 minutes, turning frequently so they are evenly browned. If they char — no problem, just slip off the skin; the pepper will still taste fabulous. You can also grill them on foil if you prefer.

Mini Black Bean and Rice Burgers

These kid-friendly burgers are great cold, so perfect for packing in lunches. I love them dipped in salsa or mustard, or crumbled into pita pockets for on-the-go.

Mini Black Bean and Rice Burgers with Salt and Lime Chips2

Mini Black Bean and Rice Burgers

2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 can (14 oz) unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Heat one teaspoon of oil in a skillet and sauté the pepper and onion together, just until they start to soften. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, use your hands to mash the black beans — it’s the most effective way — then add the peppers and onions. Mix well, then add the remaining ingredients, combining well. Let mixture sit for half an hour or more — this step can be made in advance.

Heat the grill to medium. Use your hands to form patties. Put the patties on the grill and cook for about five minutes until fragrant with grill marks, then turn once, cooking through on the other side. Serve on a bun with your favourite condiments.

Tofu Souvlaki and Maroulosalata (Greek Lettuce Salad)

Souvlaki, as you probably know, is a popular Greek fast food is commonly made with meat (and sometimes vegetables) threaded on skewers and grilled. A twist on the classic, this version uses not-so-authentic tofu as the main ingredient. Be sure to squeeze it of excess moisture and marinate it for as long as you can for the best flavour. You can also do these on the grill instead of under the broiler.

The Maroulosalata is a light, fresh side dish–and just a note: some versions of this classic salad use 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar in lieu of the lemon. Just whatever you do, find some good, crisp lettuce.

 

souvaki

Marinated Tofu Souvlaki

  • Servings: 8 to 10 souvlaki
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For the marinade:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

For the skewers:
1 (350 g) package firm tofu, pressed of excess moisture, cut into about 24 pieces
3 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch squares
8-10 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Whisk all marinade ingredients together. Add the tofu, peppers, and onion, and let marinate for at least three hours, or overnight.

When ready to cook, place the oven rack about six inches (15 cm) from the broiler.

Thread the vegetables and tofu onto the soaked skewers, then broil, about five to seven minutes until browned. Carefully flip each skewer, then broil about five minutes longer on the other side. Serve warm.

Maroulosalata (Greek Lettuce Salad)

1 small head romaine lettuce, washed and thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from half a lemon

Toss salad with green onions, dill and zest. Add olive oil and lemon juice, mixing well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.