Stuffed peppers is a great use-up-leftovers dish because you can combine more or less whatever you have in the fridge with cooked rice to make the stuffing. It’s a quick supper or lunch or you could use it as a side dish for a main meal.

We’re not vegetarians at The Essex Barn but I’m quite happy not to eat meat. This time of year when gorgeous crunchy salad greens, colourful peppers and juicy tomatoes are so readily available I’ll happily pull together a dish or two without adding meat or fish and this is one of my favourites!

Pesto rice stuffed peppers

 

Peppers stuffed with pesto rice (Serves 1) 

Ingredients

1 pepper
1 cup wholegrain rice, cooked
1/2 cup cooked vegetables roughly chopped (I used courgette and mushrooms)
1 tbsp peanuts roughly chopped
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pesto (see below for a super simple recipe to make this yourself)
1 tsp capers

Method

#1 Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5

#2 Cut the top off the pepper and scoop out the core and seeds. Cook the scooped out peppers and tops in boiling water for 5 mins.

#3 Combine the stuffing ingredients in a bowl and use to stuff the pepper, packing the filling down well.

#4 Replace the top of the pepper and bake in a baking tin in the oven for 35-45 mins.

 

pesto

 

Pesto is one of those staples that I use almost every day. Since quitting sugar 3 months ago I’ve found it’s the perfect accompaniment to so many dishes that I make a fresh batch every week! And it’s so easy to do there’s no reason to go for the shop bought version which usually has added sugar. Here’s the recipe I use…

Homemade cashew pesto

Ingredients

Large bunch of basil
1 cup cashew nuts
Enough extra virgin olive oil to lubricate the pesto
1/2 tsp Garlic puree
Pinch of salt

Method

#1 Soak the cashew nuts in water for 1 hour then drain

#2 Place the nuts and all the other ingredients except the extra virgin olive all in a food processor and blend well, drizzling in the olive oil until the consistency is a thick paste.

#3 Store in a sealed box in the fridge for up to a week.

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