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Archive for Mediterranean

::vegan:: Bulgur Stuffed Peppers


I’ve been craving stuffed peppers recently. What I haven’t been craving is meaty meals. I’ve also been wanting to find fun summery things to make with my deck garden harvest. This recipe has a dual function. You can either just make the bulgur stuffing and serve room temp, or you can fill some peppers and have a sweet, citrus-y, mint-y meal. I may make the bulgur salad for the next picnic we go to. It was so bright and refreshing.

When I put the plate in front of PTB and he asked what was in it, the first response I got was “no meat or cheese?”. Oh well, I can’t please everyone all the time. Next time around, I will give him some cheese. Some fresh goat cheese mixed into the filling would work well. It just wasn’t a cheese kind of night for me.

What You Need
Bulgur Salad

Step One
1 cup raw bulgar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Step Two
1/2 cup walnuts
Step Three
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup fresh mint
3 Tbsp dried currants
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Stuffed Peppers
4 Bell Peppers, your choice of color

400F oven

This was my first experience using bulgur. I’m pretty satisfied. I had no idea it was the grain in tabbouleh, but I guess I never really questioned what that grain was. Based on how easy it is to make, I’m going to have to experiment more. To make the bulgur, pour the boiling water over the grain and cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap. After about 20-25 minutes, drain off any extra water and fluff. Yeah, it’s that easy.

While the bulgur is cooking, chop up and toast the walnuts. Once the bulgur is ready, stir in the walnuts and all step three ingredients.

Chop off the tops of your peppers, and if necessary to have them stand, slice off a bit of the bottom. Be sure to remove the ribs and seeds. Arrange the peppers in a baking dish and fill with your bulgur mix. Drizzle with olive oil and add about 1/2″ of hot water to the pan. Place in 400F oven for approx. 40 minutes.

Serves: 4     Cost: $2/serving

::super snack:: Red Pepper Hummus

Beans and I were good buddies throughout my pregnancy. With my love of starch, most specifically noodles, a variety of beans helped me get through the first couple months without starving myself of any and all nutrition. And there are so many things to do with beans. Once things were back to normal with my eating, we had a go at a new snack.

This recipe was inspired by Cooking Light’s Cooking Through the Seasons, but I didn’t follow theirs exactly. I just did what I wanted. In my opinion, Eden Organics has the BEST canned beans. It is a bonus that they are one of the only companies of canned foods that has stated that all of their cans are BPA-free. Yes, BPA is from plastic, not tin cans… but modern tin cans are lined, and sometimes with bad stuff. Just one more tiny effort to keep us and our little Bean safe from bad stuff.

What You Need
1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1 lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp tahini
~1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

What you do: Drain & rinse those beans! Chop up the peppers. Zest and Juice your lemon.

Put all of your ingredients in a food processor.

Serve with pita chips, veggies, or a spoon  🙂 However you like your hummus.

::cooking for two:: Harissa Spiced Chickpeas

One of my favorite things about learning to cook is that I am no longer afraid to screw things up.  If it goes too badly, we’ll just order something.  It isn’t the end of the world.  This of course is made easier by only cooking for the two of us.  There is less wasted if I mess up, and less people to worry about pleasing.  I was so excite about this recipe since my Long Nights and Log Fires is mostly recipes for crowds and this one is simply for two.  It was a great easy meal (one pot!) during the cold winter in Philadelphia since I adapted it to fit what I had on hand, but I don’t think I would be opposed to it now that it is warmer out.

Really, it is just a new mixture of the same base ingredients I know and love.  Onion, garlic, beans, tomato, spinach.  Anything “spiced” falls into the category of “things we think we would like”.  Harissa and Haloumi, however, were two items neither of us had ever heard of.  Among the many different searches, I was told Harissa was anything from Greek to African.  Haloumi is a Greek cheese.  This dish is supposed to be Moroccan.  I’ll go with overall it is a Mediterranean dinner.  And based on this, how could you not enjoy it during the summer months?  I just imagine the Mediterranean to always be blue seas and bluer skies.  Ahhhhh…. Summer.  I watch too much TV.

What You Need
Step One
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
medium red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Step Two
1 Tbsp harissa
1 can of chickpeas, drained (garbanzo beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
Step Three
5 oz. Halloumi cheese, cubed
big handful of spinach leaves (~8-10oz)
Step Four
salt & pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon
fresh grated Parmesan

In a medium saucepan heat the oil over low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.

Stir in all step two ingredients and increase heat to medium/medium-high.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add in step three ingredients and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.  Season to taste and stir in the lemon juice.  Serve immediately topped with fresh grated Parmesan.  Naan would go great with this dish as well to help soak up any bits of sauce leftover.

Serves: 2  Cost: $4/serving