Since I've been home-based and not travelling at all in the past couple weeks, I've really enjoyed being in the kitchen again. As much as dialling room-service is a novel luxury for the first couple days on the road, there's nothing more grounding than being able to whip up something simple and fast in your own kitchen. Here in Amsterdam, Fall is definitely upon us. The leaves haven't changed colours yet, but the temperature's dropped, the rain is back in full force and I've had to put the heating on already.
HOORAAAHHHHHH! Autumn is my favourite season. ;)
This changing season stirs up the Vata, and I like the reflective vibe it brings. Bring on the layers, it's time to turn inwards and get cozy. I'm starting to see a change in produce at the market, and this should be reflected in what's served on your plate too... Looking forward to all the heartier soups, curries and roasts to nourish my belly.
Last night, I made some roasted stuffed peppers in the oven. I wasn't particularly paying attention to the measurements of ingredients used, as I was going by feeling and flavour (this is why I can't bake - Baking is a science and I hate detailed precision in the kitchen. It's all about feeling!) After posting my dinner update on Instagram, a friend asked for the recipe and since I'd typed it up for him I figured I might as well post it on here for you guys too. Won't have that many pictures to post on this one since I hadn't intended to turn this into a blog post!
-> Just a side note about quinoa: It's one of my all-time favourite grains as it's gluten-free, super high in protein (containing all 8 essential amino acids), super high in calcium and high in immunity-boosting minerals too!
SMOKEY ROAST PEPPERS STUFFED WITH SMOKED TOFU, KALE, CORN & TRI-COLOUR QUINOA
This is a pretty versatile meal as it's basically made out of 2 different dishes - so you can use the quinoa and stuffing on their own or as side dishes accompanying other meals you make. Since I only had 2 red peppers, the leftover quinoa and stuffing were turned into the side dishes accompanying the meal. :)
- 1 Cup Quinoa (I mixed white, red and black quinoa together, but you can use any kind you prefer)
- 2.5 Cups Water
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp Veggie Stock
- 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Chuck all ingredients on the stove and bring to a boil.
- Once water has boiled, put to low heat and simmer, then prep all the other ingredients.
- Once all the water has been absorbed/ boiled off and the quinoa has a nice chewy texture to it (similar to bulghur or couscous), take it off the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it rest for 5 minutes (so you don't get mushy quinoa right out of the pot).
- If you're making this as a side on its own, you can serve it after resting. Otherwise, set aside for use in the stuffing later.
- 2x large red peppers
- Slice around the top of each pepper, and save the top stalk as your cover. Slice some of the stem off the inside of the stalk (so you have more room for the stuffing later).
- Get rid of all the seeds and bits inside.
- Put peppers on a greased baking tray, ready to be stuffed.
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1/2 cup Organic White Wine
- 1.5 tsp Dried basil
- 1.5 tsp Dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (more or less, depending how spicy you like it)
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more or less, depending how spicy you like it)
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 Cup Kale (I used frozen kale)
- 1/2 Cup Sweet Corn (I used frozen sweet corn)
- 1 block Smoked Tofu (about 200gms) - Amsterdammers, you can find this at Eko Plaza!
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Half a chilli pepper, sliced into thin slices
- A few dashes of Liquid Smoke
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil to garnish.
- Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Fry garlic until it turns slightly translucent.
- Add the onions. When onions turn translucent, add white wine, basil, oregano, cumin, cardamom, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper.
- Keep simmering til onions turn soft. Add more white wine or water if mixture reduces too much before onions are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When onions have turned soft and mixture has reduced (about 5min), add kale and corn, turn heat to low, add a bit of water, put the lid on and let the kale and corn steam a bit to defrost and cook.
- Once kale and corn have defrosted and more water has reduced (about 5min), add the tofu, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, chilli peppers, and any more salt, pepper, other herbs or spices to get more oomph of whichever flavour you want more out of the stuffing.
- Since this is going into the oven, you don't need to over-cook it. The kale should still be green (not brown). Once this stuffing is ready, add 2 scoops of quinoa to the stuffing mixture. It'll help absorb any extra moisture/ liquid that oozes out when it's stuffed in the pepper.
Now to get stuffing!!
- Stuff the 2 red peppers, close the tops with the stem caps.
- Bake at 220 degrees C for about 20-30min.
I didn't baste the sides of the peppers with olive oil as I wanted them to have a bit of a nice brown burn on the skin. If you grease them it'll take longer to brown, but it'll have a shiny sheen to it. Depends on what you want it to look like.
That's it! You'll have leftover kale/corn/tofu stuffing and quinoa which you can have as sides - or if you have more peppers, you can stuff those too. You could probably get 6 stuffed peppers with this amount of stuffing I think.
All measurements here are an estimation coz I was making it up as I went along, but this should be about right. Just add more/ less herbs and spices according to taste, then enjoy! :)