Friday, August 14, 2009

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers

The marvelous recipe creators at SELF had a brilliant idea: mix a whole bunch of vegetables and couscous and feta together and stuff it all in a pepper. Of course, all that yumminess falls out of the pepper as soon as you try to eat it, but it makes for a fabulous presentation.

Here’s our version of the recipe. As usual, we’ve omitted some things—like salt and fennel—and exchanged the protein-rich and, according to one of us, “icky” chick peas for tofu.

1 ¼ cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
⅔ cup couscous (dry)
4 large red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil (or as much as you need)
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium sized zucchini, sliced into thin half-circles
1 medium-sized yellow squash, also sliced into thin half-circles
½ tsp dried oregano
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (~4 ounces)
1 package of extra-firm tofu, drained, dried and cubed

1. Preheat oven to 350º
2. Bring the 1 ¼ cup of broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the couscous, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.
3. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peppers and boil for 5 minutes. (Try to make the peppers submerge as much as possible.) Remove the peppers from the water and let them drain upside down.
5. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet (we use a large electric skillet because it holds more) and add the tofu, onion, zucchini, yellow squash and oregano.
6. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften and the tofu starts to brown. It should take a little over 5 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and add the tomatoes.
8. Fluff the couscous with a fork and add it to the vegetable/tofu mixture. Add the feta to the mixture and mix well.
9. Spray a baking dish with olive oil.
10. Place peppers upright in the baking dish and stuff them with as much of the couscous mixture as you can. Leave the overflow couscous in the skillet over low heat.12. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes and serve immediately with the overflow couscous.

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