Thursday, June 3, 2010


We're busy here. The Spring and Summer months bring on new energy. The sun is with us longer and longer. Even in the land of fruits and nuts, where the weather is not so dramatic, we feel this energy. Schools out, everyone is cleaning and sorting and rearranging. I'm exercising and planting and daydreaming a little. 

I think I'll make a stuffed peppers today. What should I stuff them with? "Beef." they cry. Oh they think they are sooooo funny. I'm thinking rice and black beans. It will be a 'make-it-up' conglomeration that after years of cooking just sounds good. Not crazy and exotic. A bit Mediterranean.

I cut the tops off two red bell peppers, being dramatic with the cutting pattern so I can get the tops back on like fitting a puzzle together, de-seed them and put them in a pot of water to boil for a bit. This will soften them up before stuffing and baking. Meanwhile I mix together:

1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup black beans from a can
1/4 cup black olives

in a small fry pan I saute together
2 tbls diced onion
2 tbls diced celery and leaves
1/4 cup chopped tomato
and mix that with the rice, beans and olives

Then I headed out to the garden to find a little basil.  See that little white marker. It says Basil. But there is NO basil. Oh dear. I picked a little cilantro instead and added about 2 tbls fresh cilantro to the mix.

The peppers were soft. I stood them up in an oiled bread pan. I could have fit three.

I gently filled the cavities with the rice and bean mixture and put on their caps. Then I baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While they were baking I harvested some baby Swiss chard and baby kale.

I washed it up and drained it a little. Into a frying pan I splashed about 2 Tbls olive oil, a Tbls of chopped garlic and 2 Tbls chopped onion and all of the chard and spinach with water dripping from them. 
They barely fit in the pan at first, but they cook down quickly. The clinging water helps to steam them.

Miss M (5 years old and already a budding cook) made a salad of strawberries, tomatoes, mint leaves and baby chard leaves. Yum. I rolled a mint leaf around a tomato and must say, it was a treat.
All together, the stuffed pepper, the greens, the salad and an avocado, it's a complete meal.

Now, I'm the one who's stuffed. 

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