We rarely start a meal from total scratch. Our recipes are mostly born out of leftover bits and bobs so nothing gets wasted and yesterday’s scraps are today’s supper. We think of it as a revolving kitchen – and these tasty veggie peppers are the latest thing to come out of it…
Leftovers are always a good starting point for a meal. Last night’s stir-fry gets a fried egg on top and wrapped in a wholemeal tortilla. Leftover ragu gets bulked out with extra veg and kidney beans. The last egg in the box gets turned into pancakes for breakfast. Less food wasted, more money saved. We also find it helps to have something to start with when ideas are thin on the ground.
We’ve given an example here which starts from scratch so you can follow the whole process, but see the options along the way to use up whatever you have at home.
Either way, we love the idea of these as a substantial main meal. They’re great cold too.
You will need:
- 4 large peppers of any colour, sliced in half vertically through the stalk, membrane and seeds removed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 100g (1/2 cup) green (or brown) lentils, rinsed
- 1 onion (brown or red), finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, diced (or 2 tbsp canned)
- Handful of fresh or frozen spinach
- 100g (1/2 cup) couscous (or bulgur wheat)
- 150ml (1/3 cup) ‘quality’ vegetable stock (hot)
- 75g (1/2 cup) feta cheese, crumbled (or goat’s cheese or halloumi)
- Small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped (optional, or parsley, or mint, or a combination)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Heat oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Rub sliced peppers all over with 2 tbsp of olive oil, season, then roast on a baking sheet for 15-20 mins until skins are starting to wrinkle and blister. Set aside.
- While peppers are cooking, cook lentils in 1 cup (240ml) of water according to pack instructions (around 25 mins) until lentils are soft.
- While lentils are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small lidded pan over medium heat and cook onion for 5 mins, stirring frequently. Add garlic, tomato, spinach for a few mins; stir in couscous. Pour over stock, turn off heat and put the lid on the pan. Leave until couscous has absorbed water (3-4 mins). Drain lentils then stir into couscous with the feta and coriander. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
- Pack the cooked peppers with the mixture and pop them back in the oven for 10 mins to crisp up.
Serve… Hot or cold / With a leafy side salad
Make it go further… Add a can of chickpeas to the filling (plus an extra pepper to fill)
Make it quicker… Use canned lentils / Skip the final oven step
Don’t worry if you don’t have… Tomatoes or spinach
See more Main Meal recipes