I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have my computer back in my very own hands. My poor, old laptop had a nice vacation at the PC Guys spa and has come home running better than ever. If you have ever had a computer crisis, you can probably relate to how naked I have felt these past few days without my laptop. But all is well now, so here I am!
Over the past two weeks, while my laptop was getting fit and trim, I was busy gorging myself on the remnants of holiday treats. But the mocha cake is gone, only a tiny sliver of fudge remains in the tin, and crumbs are all that remain of the cheese straws. Which, I suppose, means it’s time to get back to reality, and do something about that little roll that developed over my jeans during the holidays.
In the interest of good health I am turning to one of my very favorite staples – lentils! I often cook a pot of lentils and leave them in the refrigerator to throw in salads and soups for quick dinners. But tonight I decided to go for something a little more fun. These stuffed peppers are wonderfully quick to make, and keep very well in the fridge for a healthy, hearty lunch that’s easy to reheat. I prefer Puy lentils (also called French green lentils) because they hold their shape better than other varieties and have a slightly richer flavor. Brown lentils would work too, but they are easily overcooked, and I usually end up with lentil mush when I use them.
I used some leftover pesto to flavor the rice and lentil mixture, but you can certainly play around. An olive tapenade would be lovely, as would sun-dried tomatoes. I happened to have green bell peppers, but red or yellow bell peppers would probably be even better (although I actually really love green peppers). The real trick to stuffed peppers is getting them to stand up as they cook. There’s nothing worse than a stuffed pepper that loses its stuffing! To that end, I cook my stuffed peppers in a loaf pan, packed tightly together to keep from falling over.
Lentil Stuffed Peppers
11/2 cups cooked brown rice
11/2 cooked Puy lentils
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 medium-sized bell peppers
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the rice, lentils, pesto and all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stem and core the peppers, removing all seeds. Sprinkle the inside of the peppers with salt and pepper. Stuff the peppers with the lentil mixture. Top the peppers with the remaining cheese and arrange tightly in a greased loaf pan. Bake 35-45 minutes, until peppers are slightly shriveled and cheese is brown. Serve hot.