Grain Stuffed Veggies
These speak for themselves. With all the veggies in abundance this time of year at the Farmer’s Market, this is a great way to mix and match meals. Great as a side dish or a meal unto themselves. The flavors blend after a couple of days in the fridge. They freeze really well also. You can make a different batch weekly and freeze them. Then, you can have different flavors and combos to choose from. I get sick of eating the same things over and over again.
Forbidden rice, brown rice, wild rice, black beans, lentils, quinoa, amarynth. Cook according to the instructions on the back of the bag. You can use any single or combo of any of these grains. Make enough for 2 servings.
4-6 oz Tofu, tempeh, any meat or sausage.
1 onion, shallot or leek, small diced
1/2 clove of garlic chopped
1 carrot, small diced
1 celery, small diced
2-3 zucchini (scoop out the center part that has the seeds, you can throw the center into the sauteed veggie mix), bell peppers ( not green), OR winter squash, halved
4 shiitake, small diced
1/2 bunch of spinach, chopped
1/2 c cheese, optional
Fresh basil chopped
2 Tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 c Balsamic vinegar
Nuts and/or seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub whatever halved veggie with oil, salt and pepper. Bake until fully cooked. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbl oil. Add meats or tofu and brown thoroughly cooking. Remove from heat. Heat 1 Tbl of oil and add onion. Sautee for 2 minutes then add chopped garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the veggies. Sautee until golden and cooked aldente. Add cooked meat and tofu to the veggies. Add the cooked grains to the mix. Add the fresh herbs and cheese. You can mix in shredded cheese, herb oils or fresh pestos. Adjust flavors to your liking. Stuff the halved veggies that have been pre-cooked. Cover with shredded cheese and/or nuts and seeds if you’d like and bake for about 20 minutes until golden. While the veggies are baking, put the vinegar in a pot on the stove and cook over low heat until it is reduced by half and is now a glaze. Drizzle glaze as a garnish over the finished stuffed veggies before serving. This is a great recipe to double or triple and throw in the fridge as leftovers or the freezer for later. Also the size or the veggies is going to change the amounts of stuffing. Play around with the veggies and spices you use in this recipe. You can add cumin, paprika, cilantro and chilis for instance, topping with salsa and guacamole to add a Mexican flair. Or stir fry the veggies with ginger, tamari, peanut sauce, coconut milk (omit cheese) for an Asian flair. Curry spices will add a nice Indian flair to the dishes.
Health Facts: Whole grains and legumes are so full of fiber, blood sugar regulating and, when combined, are complete proteins. Forbidden rice is so unbelievably good for you, chock full of anti-oxidants. The flavor is very nutty and rich. Amarynth is a lovely and light grain that is a complete protein alone. Many of the spices have several medicinal benefits. For instance, tumeric is one of the anti- inflamatory herbs. Ginger is warming and settling to the stomach. Garlic is cholesterol lowering. Nuts and seeds add flavor, but also fiber, some protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Veggies are good for you. This goes without saying. More color, the better. Enjoy you summer harvest!
Pestos are a great way to get nutrients and add flavor to dishes. They are also perfect for preserving the herbs in your garden. I use basil, parsley and arugula. Sometimes I mix them.
*Grind approx ½ c of nuts/seeds (whatever you like) with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper (or to taste).
*Add 1 cup of parmesan or pecorino. If you’re avoiding dairy add ¼ c of nutritional yeast instead.
*Add 5 c herbs, washed and de-stemmed
*Add 1 ½ c oil. Traditionally it’s olive oil but play with it. Try different oils for different flavors and nutrients. Pour in a steady stream while food process is running.