Sometimes I surprise myself. Recently we had an abundance of red peppers that were going bad quickly and we didn't know what to do with. So we brainstormed and came up with stuffed peppers. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to make them before the peppers went bad, but we were still inspired (especially by this recipe) so we picked some up at the grocery store. Although I liked the recipe that inspired this dish, I definitely wanted to change it up a bit, so I came up with this:
It looks similar, but its oh so different.
I started off cleaning out my peppers and the first thing I changed was the couscous. Instead of regular couscous, I used Israeli couscous, something we've had in the cupboard forever and haven't figured out how to use it. I cooked the Israeli couscous in chicken broth (reduced sodium and fat-free broth at that) to add a little extra flavor, something I do when cooking rice and regular couscous.
While I kept the chickpeas, onion, cumin and coriander needed in the original recipe, I replaced the rest with a teaspoon of lemon zest, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of garlic, 1/3 cup of reduced fat feta, 1/3 cup of the left over red pepper, diced, and a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Then I added 1 1/2 cup of the couscous.
I filled the peppers with the mixture and baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. After the 30 minutes, I topped with a little bit more of the feta and baked for another 5-10 minutes.
The dish turned out fantastic, with bright and creamy flavors. The peppers were cooked perfectly, even if we were a bit concerned at first because we thought they might be undercooked. The cooking time left the peppers with a bit of a bite, which I appreciated since a lot of stuffed pepper recipes tend to overcook the peppers to mush. I will admit I was highly impressed with my creation and we plan to make it again. I've got to say I'm excited to eat the leftovers, which is always a good way to gauge how a recipe turned out.
WW pts. = 9 pts. per pepper, though one pepper could easily feed two people.