Lentil-Stuffed Bell Peppers

I stared into the pantry cupboard. I turned to gaze at the open door of the fridge.  A sigh of puzzlement.  Back to the pantry. To the fridge.  Pantry. Fridge. Pantry. Fridge.  Ceiling.  Oh, that would be me rolling my eyes in aggravation at not knowing what to make.

This is how most days start for me actually, unless I had a vision the night before and plan to bring it to life.  Not for want of ingredients—definitely not stocked with all the goodies of a gourmet pantry but decently expansive most of the time—but rather I always begin the creative process this way.  Staring blankly at a white page, at a new day, at an untouched kitchen.  The directions are infinite, thus rendering my decision-making all the harder.

So anyway, one day in particular I took a gander at the plethora of lentils that G bought recently and figured it might be wise to start using some of them—but how?? Ergh… more thinking… what to do with all this stuff?? This stuff… stuff… Stuff!

And thus Stuffed bell peppers with lentils galore were born!  Yeah yeah, cheesy transition, but cheesy I am.

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, any colors

Filling:

  • ½ cup split moong dahl (lentils)
  • 3 tbsp split urad dahl
  • Brown rice, boiled and drained
  • Chopped tomato
  • 1 can Hominy (large sweet corn), drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil (or dried basil)
  • Few tbsp Lemon (1/2 lemon squeezed)
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin powder
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

For topping:

  • Handful of breadcrumbs
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Olive oil

So I was just using what I had at home, but if I had some feta cheese, I would have mixed that in possibly.   Not sure where that thought came from.

Anyhoo, rinse and clean your lentils, then add them to boiling water and cook them to a softened state, about 15 minutes.

Then, quite simply, mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and taste the spice levels to your desire.

In a separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs, cheese of your choice (parmesan would be good, but I ran out), and a little drizzle of olive oil—this will be the topping.

Chop the top off the bell peppers so the stem is removed.  Clean out the seeds and insides, so they are nice big bowls.  Before stuffing them though, make sure to boil your peppers for a few minutes so their colors become even brighter, and the flesh softens, allowing them to cook faster later on.  This should only take about 3 minutes in boiling water.

Then, rub olive oil in and around the peppers and fill them with the mixture.  Cover each pepper with the topping, ensuring that all the filling is hidden completely.

Place the peppers on a baking pan, pour a few tbsp of water in the pan to steam and bake the peppers for about 30-40 minutes.

They’ll be perfectly scrumptious when the crust is golden brown and the cheese is sizzly.

After!

Before

Perfectly suited with some brown rice on the side, or sautéed veggies, or ya know, whatever your mouth fancies.  🙂

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