Back in 2000, Cardiff Daddy and I celebrated graduating from Swansea University with a month-long trip back-packing around the Greek islands. We had next to no money, slept in a tent and carried our stuff round in a couple of back packs. We had such an amazing adventure together – sun, sea, sand and… stuffed peppers.
As amazing an experience as it was, one thing that sticks in my mind is that it wasn’t the best place to eat for vegetarians. I’ve been veggie since I was 12. While Cardiff Daddy dined on souvlaki, locally caught fish and moussaka, I existed on Greek salads and stuffed peppers. I ate so many peppers stuffed with rice and other vegetables, I couldn’t bear to touch them for at least 10 years.
However, I’ve been trying to cut out starchy carbs recently, as it plays havoc with my IBS, and whilst experimenting with what was in my fridge, I created this little dish, stuffing the peppers with a mix of quinoa, chestnut mushrooms, courgette and red onion.
I intended to mix in some basil, but accidentally added sage instead. It was a great mistake to make, as it added such a depth to the flavours of this dish. Even without the peppers, the quinoa and vegetable combination is gorgeous in its own right. I made up more than I needed and ate the rest of it for lunch the following day. Enjoy!
Ingredients – serves 4
1tbsp olive oil
4 large peppers, halved lengthways, de-seeded and placed open side up on a baking tray.
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 courgette, sliced and halved
1 tsp dried sage
Olive oil to drizzle
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
- Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the packet.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in the pan, and gently fry the onions and garlic for five minutes or so, until the onions are soft.
- Add the courgettes and mushrooms and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Stir in the dried sage.
- Remove from the heat, add the quinoa and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into the peppers, drizzle with a little bit olive oil and cook for 15-20 minutes until the pepper skins are starting to darken, but not burn.
- Serve with an assortment of salad leaves.