For my family, Christmas has always been to time to get friends and family together and spend quality time together. Often it means us all sitting together in the kitchen whilst the food is being prepared. I made vegetable and nut wellington a couple of years ago for Christmas and everyone enjoyed it. I made this spicy rice stuffed peppers to be eaten with a healthy salad and sweet potatoes wedges last week to see if my family would enjoy it again on Christmas or Boxing day. The wedges got a bit dark so I had to redo them again but overall everyone loved it as it was tasty, filling and fairly healthy.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 6 large peppers – I used red and green but any colour are fine
- 1 cup mixed vegetables (I used frozen vegetables with peas, carrots and sweetcorn)
- 1 -2 cups passata
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of grated or blended ginger
- 1 teaspoon of blended fresh green chillies (can use more if you like hot food)
- 1-2 fresh carrots – grated
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbls Olive oil
For the Sweet potato wedges:
- 2-3 sweet potatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbls corn flour
- 1-2 tbls oil
- dried mixed herbs
1. First wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes using cold water. Always soak and rinse out basmati rice to get great results.
2. Cut the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds. Save the tops as they will be used to cover the peppers once stuffed. In a saucepan or frying pan, add a cup of water cook the peppers for 6-8 minutes ( turning them in between) to soften them slightly.
3. Heat the Olive oil and add some cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds go brown, add the vegetables to it. Add the salt, turmeric, ginger, garlic, green chillies and allow the mixture to blend for a couple of minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and cook until the vegetables are par cooked. Add a cup of passata and a cup of water to the mixture. Remove the water from the rice, which you had soaked, and add it to the vegetables. Add one more cup of water to the mixture and put the lid on. Cook this for 10 minutes on medium and resist the temptation to keep checking.
4. After 10 minutes, your rice and vegetables should be cooked and looking fairly dry.
5. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and put the pepper tops back on them. Layer a baking tray with the left over passata and place the filled peppers on them. Cover these with foil and cook in the oven (180 degrees C 350 degrees F or Gas mark 4) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and allow the peppers to cook for a further 10 minutes.
6. As your peppers are cooking – Prepare the wedges to put in the oven the same time as the peppers. Wash and cut the sweet potato into thick wedges.
7. Add 2 tablespoons to the corn flour and add in the salt and pepper. Soak each wedge into this mixture and line them onto a greased baking tray. Cook them in the oven at the same temperature as the peppers. Sweet peppers cook very fast so do keep an eye on them as mine did get a bit dark and these pictures are from when I cooked them again. I sprinkled some herbs on the wedges to give it more flavour.
8. Your peppers should be ready to served at the same time as the peppers.
9. Well I did admit that the first lot of wedges were a bit overdone. But my son loved them so I didn’t feel too bad.
Do share your vegetarian Christmas meal ideas with me.