Suzannah's Capsicum Cups

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I love having people around, especially in the summertime, and like most Kiwis our summer meals often revolve around the barbecue. Of course this means, for the most part, lots of beautiful meat and fish on the grill. One of my best friends though has surprised us all and become a devout vegetarian. This caused me some angst as I racked my brain for flavourful vegetarian dishes that my meat eating friends would still all be happy with. One wonderful idea that I have adopted and made my own are these delicious stuffed capsicums, based on an original recipe by Julia and Libby. It is nutritious, wholesome and filling enough to be the main part of the meal but, if your carnivorous friends can’t do without, it also makes a very excellent side dish with steaks, salmon or snarlers.



Ingredients

These are the perfect meal to cook for friends or family with special eating habits or allergies as they are (depending on what additions you make) gluten and dairy free, vegan and vegetarian. Of course you can add or subtract different ingredients according to personal taste.


3 capsicums (try and use as many different colours as you can and the dish will look pretty!)

3/4 cup of quinoa

1 400g can of chickpeas. I used half a can.

1/4 pumpkin

1 avocado

1 fresh chill pepper- diced

2-3 cloves of garlic- diced

1 small bunch of chives

1 bunch of parsley

Olivani Olive Oil

Salt and pepper


Optional:

lemon juice in the quinoa

any substitutions/additions for the herbs e.g coriander and mint.

For a non vegan meal, Bouton D’or Feta Cheese can be sprinkled over the capsicums after the capsicums are roasted in the oven (this is particularly delicious). If you’re feeling creative you can use other salty cheeses like Ornelle Parmesan, instead of feta too.

And, just to truly corrupt the vegetarian aspect of this meal, some cooked and chopped Kiwi Bacon stirred through the quinoa is very yummy.



Method

1. Cut up the pumpkin into small cubes, drizzle with olive oil and place in a baking tray. Roast the pumpkin in the oven on 180C for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. It is particularly nice if you sprinkle some spices like paprika or even cayenne over the pumpkin before roasting.

2. Place the quinoa in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cook for around 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy.

2. Cut out the stems of the capsicums and remove the seeds then cut the capsicums in half, lengthwise.

3. In a bowl add the quinoa, pumpkin, diced garlic, chili, half of the parsley and chives and salt and pepper. Mix well.

4. Stuff the capsicums with the mixture, then place them in the oven for 10-15 minutes on bake.

5. Sprinkle the remainder of the parsley and chives onto the capsicum, along with the sliced avocado. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using feta, now is the time to add!




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