Stuffed Red Bell Peppers with Couscous and a Creamy Pesto Sauce

stuffedpeppers

 

So, it’s Friday night and the entire rest of my family is craving pizza… I, personally, am not. I know, I know… I’m a bit weird. You’re thinking “who wouldn’t want pizza on a Friday night?!”. Well… I guess me… I just needed something a bit more fresh and less greasy. SOOOO, stuffed peppers for ME!! 🙂 AND I got to make enough stuffing so that I can make myself more for lunch tomorrow! WOOHOO! And you know what? This was fresh and filling and not greasy. I don’t feel it in the pit of my stomach when I am done… THAT I like! So… try it out! 🙂

Stuffed Peppers:

Ingredients for the Filling

 

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 cup couscous
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup pancetta
1/2 packed cup chopped baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese (or asiago)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium red bell peppers (since I just made this for myself, I just used 1 red bell pepper… )
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 medium orange bell pepper
1 large zucchini sliced and cut into bite size pieces
3 leaves of basil cut into thin strips
2 scallions cut into small pieces
Hot water, as needed

Sauce: (This is Giada’s recipe from here: Giada’s Stuffed Peppers) (I personally just used leftover pesto, added some mascarpone cheese, sugar, and some extra lemon zest and lemon juice… IF you have leftover pesto laying around you can use my version!)
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) creme fraiche
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra, as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra, as needed

stuffedpeppercouscous

Directions: 

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Filling: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and cumin to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pan until the couscous is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes. Put the couscous in a large bowl and add the beans, scallions, spinach, parmesan and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Then put the pancetta and the zucchini into a small skillet, sautee just until the zucchini starts to soften and then add into the same bowl as the rest of the ingredients. Stir until all the ingredients are combined.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds. If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up. Stuff the peppers with the filling and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Put the peppers in an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish. Fill the baking dish with 3/4-inch hot water and bake until the filling is golden and the peppers are cooked through, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cooks Note: If the filling begins to brown too quickly, cover the pan with foil.) (I cooked my 1 pepper for 30 minutes, which was plenty. I refrigerated the remaining filling for a later time!)

Sauce: In a blender, combine the basil, creme fraiche, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. (Or just blend together my version in a nutribullet)

Remove the peppers from the oven and arrange on serving plates. Spoon the sauce around the peppers and serve.

Enjoy!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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One thought on “Stuffed Red Bell Peppers with Couscous and a Creamy Pesto Sauce

  1. Pingback: #StuffedRedBellPeppers with Couscous and a Creamy Pesto Sauce – #Delish #Healthy #BetterChoices | FrugalFitMomma

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