I have a few recipes up my sleeves for spring-cleaning my refrigerator. You know, that one carrot, those few beans and that half-an-onion lying around in the fridge not knowing what to do. This is one such recipe to make good use of those odd vegetables without wasting them.
In truth this is more of a method, than a recipe. You can vary the vegetables and the spices to suit your taste. To make it interesting, try using different coloured peppers, avoiding the green one. Peppers of each colour will significantly vary in taste - the yellow one is tart, the red sweet and the orange somewhere in-between.
I serve this over couscous or quinoa to take care of the carbohydrate part of the meal. Mildly flavoured rice may also work well with the peppers. Instead of serving the peppers over plain couscous, I have flavoured the couscous with herbs, as I always do. I have also added flaxseeds to make it nutritious. Chopped roasted nuts or roasted garlic clove will also be an interesting addition.
Large peppers – 2, 1 yellow and 1 orange
Leeks – 1
Zucchini – ½
Carrot – 1
Asparagus – 4
Tomato – 2
Garlic – 2 clove
Tomato paste – 2 tbsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – ½ tsp
Couscous - as required
Flaxseeds – 1 tbsp
Cilantro or basil, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350oF. Mix couscous and flaxseeds and cook according to the directions given on the box. Once cooked, fluff the couscous and add chopped herbs. Set aside.
Shred the carrot, cut asparagus into rings and reserve the spears.
In a skillet, heat a tsp of oil, and add the onion, zucchini, asparagus rings, carrot and garlic and cook gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, chilli powder and ½ cup of water and bring it to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and add cilantro or basil.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and seed them. Place the peppers in a shallow ovenproof dish and season them with salt and pepper. Fill them with the above prepared vegetable mixture. Place the reserved asparagus spears on top of each pepper halves and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Cover them with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. If serving for kids, you can also add grated cheddar cheese at this stage and bake till the cheese melts. Garnish with herbs and serve over prepared couscous.