I am not going to lie to you. Most nights there are two meals cooked in my kitchen: one for the omnivores and one for me.
Sometimes I cobble together something out of parts of their meal, but most of the time I make something completely separate.
While I don’t mind this sometimes – omnivores gotta have their chicken wings and ribs after all – I really miss the act of making something that we can all eat and then sharing the same meal when we come to the table.
As part of my renewed commitment to focussing on whole-food vegetarian-friendly recipes I really want to start making meals that we can all enjoy: Vegetarian and omnivore alike – one meal with two little twists to suit both appetites.
I personally like thinking of these posts as Nourished Me, Nourished You. Perhaps a little too ABBA? Let me know. If you have a better title for it, then I will gladly adopt the moniker.
Mum and I found bags of capsicums at a ridiculously great price at our farmer’s market on the weekend. The sweet red veggies were begging for more than just being a second thought in a casserole or a crunchy addition to a salad. They demanded to be the statement piece. Now, I know I have proffered a stuffed capsicum recipe before, but it is rather simple, and to be honest while it is a lovely side dish it doesn’t have that much punch. These capsicums are stuffed with either chicken or chickpeas that have been simmered in a tomato and paprika (see, more capsicum) sauce and then topped with cheese. So much savoury smoky flavour. I served ours alongside some rice and sweet early summer corn. Now, you do use two different pots here for cooking the chicken and chickpeas, but after that it’s very simple and everything goes into the oven while you set the table (or put your feet up and make someone else set the table…).
Paprika Chicken (or Chickpea) Stuffed Capsicums (gluten free, vegetarian option)
Choose capsicums that have tight, shiny looking skin without any soft spots. You can of course cut of the little green stalk before you stuff them, but I think they just look so pretty on the plate as they are. If you are catering for all omnivores, just leave out the chickpeas and proceed with the whole amount of spices, tomato puree and cheese and increase the chicken breast to 500 grams. If you are cooking for all vegetarians, leave out the chicken, and proceed as above with two 400 gram tins of chickpeas. This dish is lovely with rice, pasta, or mashed potato, or a salad for a light meal. These capsicums are also excellent for lunch the next day.
- 4 medium red capsicums
- 1 medium brown onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 350 grams chicken breast
- 400 gram tin of chickpeas
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 400 gram tin tomato puree
- 2/3 cup (packed) grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 200C (390F) and pull out a large oven-proof baking dish and a small and medium saucepan.
- Cut capsicums in half and remove seeds and membranes. Place capsicums in the oven-proof dish hollow side up and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until needed.
- While the capsicums are roasting, finely dice onion, carrots, celery and zucchini. Set aside. Then finely dice chicken breast and leave on board until required.
- Warm the olive oil in the medium saucepan over medium heat and gently sauté diced vegetables until the onion is translucent.
- Remove 2/3 cup of sautéed vegetables and place in the small saucepan. Add drained, well-rinsed chickpeas, 1/3 cup of tomato puree, and ½ teaspoon each of paprika and dried thyme. Warm over medium-low heat until the sauce begins to bubble.
- Add diced chicken to the medium saucepan and cook until chicken is white all the way through. Add remaining tomato puree, paprika, and thyme.
- Once the chickpea and chicken mixtures are both completed you are ready to fill the capsicums. This mixture will make two capsicum halves filled with chickpeas and four halves filled with chicken. Sprinkle all capsicums with cheese and place tray bake into oven for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve right away.
- Enjoy with your choice of sides.