The original menu was going to be grilled Ribeye, baked potato and green salad. But, as I was perusing the internet , following links from Pinterest, I found this lovely- Lentil Stuffed Peppers. I instantly knew that I was going to add this to our otherwise standard dinner.
Of course, I didn’t have all the ingredients like black lentils, yellow squash or leeks. Those are just fancy trappings anyway. 😉 I subbed what I had in my pantry and fridge. I cooked quinoa in chicken broth instead of lentils, I chopped zucchini instead of yellow squash, and finely chopped white onion instead of leeks. I didn’t use tomatoes, because I don’t much care for hot tomatoes in my food. I chose Gorgonzola for the cheese.
I lightly sautéed the minced garlic and onions, threw in my spices then added the zucchini. I allowed the vegetables to cool a little before adding the cooked quinoa and gorgonzola. Even though I let the mix cool before I added the cheese it surprised me that it still melted. I knew the cheese would melt when I grilled it but I enjoyed the creamy look the gorgonzola gave the filling. I did not blanch the peppers before filling them, I figured throwing them on the grill would give me the texture I was looking for.
I could have grilled the peppers a bit more to get a more charred look and flavor, but being a newbie-never-before tried recipe I didn’t want to over cook the peppers . If you don’t have a barbeque, you could put these in the oven and bake till the peppers are tender. Set your oven to 350 and check the peppers at twenty minutes. How tender you like your peppers will depend on how long you would leave them in the oven.
The end result was an almost total menu revamp. Our dinner consisted of the originally planned grilled Ribeye, with an addition of grilled quinoa stuffed peppers and grilled romaine lettuce drizzled with caesar dressing and grated parmesan. It looks much tastier than a plain Jane steak dinner dontcha think??
Side note: The filling would make an excellent side in and of itself. It’s hardy enough to stand on its own without the peppers. Or you could chop and saute the pepper right into the dish. I personally would serve it warm but I’m betting it would be tasty chilled as well.
If you look at the original recipe you can see I took it as a mere suggestion. I made this my own by substituting what I had on hand. You can do that too. Have fun with it and tell me what YOU come up with.