Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Creamy Pesto Veg Stuffed Capsicums

Please excuse the low lighting in my kitchen at night!

This is going to sound awfully first-world of me, but I walked into the supermarket after finishing up my tutoring work for the evening, looked at the meat section, and decided there was absolutely nothing to eat.

A quick browse of the "fresh" produce sorted me right out. I knew I wanted to sink my teeth into the innocent flesh of an unsuspecting vegetable.

Well no. I really just wanted beer, crackers, and dip for dinner, but I figured I better do the right thing by my body. Plus a bottle of cheap bubbly from Liquorland on the way back to the car. Real healthy.

You will need:

  • 2-4 red or yellow capsicums (1 capsicum per person)
  • 200g of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2x medium zucchinis, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • Shredded parmesan cheese to garnish.

Of course, there's absolutely no reason these need to be vegetarian unless that's your preference. Add chicken or bacon (or both) at will. Even tuna or smoked salmon might go okay. I'm not sure, as I 'm not a big fish-eater.

Stuff Dem Peppers:


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Chop up all the veggies and the garlic. Satuee them in your favourite saucepan on the stove top, in a little bit of olive oil.

Add the pesto and make sure it's nicely mixed through. Let the veggies cook a little more and add the cream cheese.

While the cheese melts, ready an oven tray/pan/dish and prepare the capsicums. Cut carefully in a circle about an inch from the stem to make a lid. Chop the seed-bulb off the bottom of the "lid" and clean out the body of the capsicum to get rid of any stray seeds.

When the veggies are nearly done, turn off the hotplate, make sure the cheese and pesto are evenly mixed through, and spoon the mixture into the capsicums. Of course, if you added meat, make sure the meat's pretty much done first.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the mixture and replace the little lid on the capsicum.

I had a little left over, so I halved a capsicum longways and stuffed that too.

Give the outside of your capsicums a light spray with cooking oil and pop them in the oven for 30 mins.

They should come out loose-skinned with a few golden brown spots.

Carb Count:

Not the lowest of the low, at about 22g of carbohydrate per whole, stuffed capsicum. I've also decided to start keeping track of calories as well, so for those interested, this is 302 calories per serve.

Of course this varies a tad with the size and quality of your veggies, and if you're into the whole good carbs vs bad carbs thing, this isn't exactly a slice of white bread or a Freddo Frog. It's actual food with ingredients that were alive and growing once.

Would be great served with a few greens and cherry tomatoes. Which I chose not to buy, because I watched a lady in the supermarket toss aside the tongs provided and rifle through the loose salad greens with her bare hands, touching every last leaf. All the packaged stuff was sold out at 8.30pm.

This dish didn't really pass the husband-test in terms of meat content, but it may have been a different story if I'd put in bacon.

Eat on up!

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