Maria Elena, my DROP DEAD gorgeous, ever so sexy, happy, and utterly loving friend, knows how I love to cook vegetarian recipes, so she sent me a basket of her most coveted Bria Produce.
I am on a roll. Yesterday, Uchi, my BFF, who embodies fabulousity to the infinite potential, sent me artisanal coconut sweets from Jarabacoa. At this rate, I might have to play the lotto! #score
Back to Maria Elena: I am OBSSESED with Bria’s eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. The quality is over the top. They are so fleshy, firm, bright, and beautiful (just like Maria Elena), that they look like pieces of art!
A little back story: I have somehow become a pescatarian. There is no moral high road to it, so the totalitarian vegans can back off when I use chicken broth. Simply, I have SEVERE acid reflux and I find eating vegetables and fish are much kinder to my body. I try to eat meat whenever the spirit moves me, but it’s usually a big fat fail and end up ill. I am not a chicken lover, especially after the traumatic experience of watching Food Inc. This documentary will make anyone want to survive on water and air, and never want to touch food in general again. So fish and veggies it is. Poor Juanki, Mirka and Marco! They have had to join the bandwagon by default. Come Saturday, they all have this crazy, unabatED craving for a 16oz steak!
Yesterday, we made Ratatouille Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with the bounty Maria Elena sent. The pictures speak for themselves. None have been altered. The red peppers are REALLY that red! Now this is not the classic french ratatouille, it is Mirka’s spin on it, and I have to say, I actually like it better!
- 4 red peppers
- vegetable spray
- 1/2 cup white quinoa
- 1/2 cup onion chopped (for quinoa)
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups vegetable brot
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 eggplant chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 5 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbps chopped cilantro
- 1 tbps chopped leek
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantrico
- 2 garlics minced
Preheat oven to 350.
Cut red peppers lengthwise in half. Salt and Pepper. Spray pan with vegetable spray. Place red peppers open-side down. Bake in oven at 350 for 20 minutes.
Rinse quinoa. Heat pot on medium-high, add butter. When butter is melted, add 1/2 cup of chopped onions and cook until translucent. Add quinoa. Stir for about 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth. When it starts to boil, bring heat to low, simmer and cover. Stir occasionally. Quinoa is ready when liquid is absorbed and you can see the little “worm”. Fluff with fork.
Heat medium sized pot on high. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic, onion and tomato paste. Sautee until onions are a bit translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add tomatos, zucchini, eggplant, and onions. Salt and pepper. Add cilantro, leek, and cilantrico. Lower temperature and continue to stir until all vegetables are soft.
Stir quinoa into vegetable pot. Mix well together.
Stuff about 2 tbsp of the filling into the red pepper. Add a little low fat ricotta cheese (feta would be nice too!). Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and serve!