Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Zucchini, Eggplant and Mushrooms

I had to work at the office all day this past Saturday and Sunday.

On my way home from work on Saturday evening, I stopped at Harris Teeter and started grabbing whatever for the entire week. I was in the produce section tossing anything and everything that looked fresh and was on sale.

I was in and out of the grocery store in about 20 minutes. That might be a record for me, as I tend to enjoy lingering when I shop for groceries, especially if there's a wine tasting going on.

I've made stuffed bell peppers before. This dish was really easy, because I just sauteed all the veggies at once, added some seasoning, spooned the vegetable mixture into the bell peppers, and baked. The cider vinegar adds just a bit of tanginess to the vegetables.

I served the stuffed bell peppers alongside basmati brown & wild rice blend, which I quickly cooked using my pressure cooker.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushrooms

Serves approximately 2

4 small bell peppers, tops sliced off and seeded

Vegetable oil

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
2 small zucchini, finely diced
1 medium onion, chopped

2 small eggplant (e.g., Asian), finely diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon cider vinegar

8 ounces queso fresco (or other type of crumbling cheese, like feta)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush the inside and outside of each bell pepper with the vegetable oil. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set them aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and eggplant. Stir constantly and saute until the vegetables become soft (but not mushy), about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, cider vinegar, and salt and pepper (to taste). Crumble half of the queso fresco into the skill and stir through.

Spoon the vegetable mixture into the bell peppers. Be careful not to overstuff the peppers. Crumble the remaining queso fresco over the top of each bell pepper. Place the stuffed bell peppers back into the oven. Cook for an additional 10 or so minutes, until the cheese on top has melted, and serve.


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