Food is never boring since I started eating a mostly plant based diet more than a year ago. I can honestly say that I've discovered some wonderfully interesting foods that have definitely enlightened my taste buds!
Recent recipe discovery: Ancient Grain Stuffed Red Bell Peppers.
Some foods that I eat these days I had never even heard of, or at least wasn't familiar with a year ago. I found this recipe in the sale flyer from Whole Foods (Jan/Feb 2011) and it sounded so impressive, yet very simple. It also gave me the opportunity to try something I've never eaten before: a sea plant.
Arame is a mild sea vegetable, very similar to kelp. Arame is high in calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin A. It does take some getting use to, but if you're a fan of sushi or other seafood, you'll probably like it.
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1/4 c. uncooked amaranth
1 c. frozen edamame, thawed
1 c. arame seaweed, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes, drain well
6 green onions, thinly sliced
3 carrots, grated
1/2 c. roughly chopped fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley
2 T. brown rice vinegar
4 red bell peppers, tops removed and reserved, cored and seeded
Preheat oven to 350deg. Put grains and 1-1/2 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low; cover and simmer until liquid is gone and grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
Toss edamame, arame, onions, carrots, cilantro, and vinegar.
Stuff peppers with mixture and arrange in a baking dish, pour 1/4 cup water into dish. Place tops on peppers, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until tender, 20-30 minutes more. Serves 4.
**I only used 2 bell peppers cut in half, so I had extra "stuffing" leftover. This might be good in a wrap or pita for a portable lunch. I also left out the cilantro because I didn't have any, but added black pepper and a couple dashes of curry powder for some extra flavor.
I shared this meal the first time with Emilee. Tonight I had a leftover pepper and topped it with some crumbled goat cheese - even better!