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donderdag 7 juni 2012

Veggie Day

Today the veggies rule!

Veggie Day is a term that was introduced a few years ago. The city of Ghent launched the initiative to eat vegetarian once a week, on Thursday, to help reduce the ecological footprint. Even though it's not compulsory for the citizens of the city, a lot of people follow that example.
It was world news, as you see in this article in Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1900958,00.html

I'm convinced that - as you can't do it all by yourself - every little step any one takes, is a step in the right direction. I don't claim to change the environment with this, but I do try to reduce the meat consumption for myself and - though in a smaller amount- of my family. 

So since a couple of years we eat at least once a week vegetarian. I have to admit that only my sister and I really eat vegetarian all day. My dad and mum have the nasty habit of considering anything that can be put on a sandwich (salami, ham, salads ...) doesn't count. I haven't been able to bring them round yet, but we keep on trying :)

Today we have stuffed peppers for dinner. It's completely my own creation. I looked for some recipes but I wasn't really happy with them entirely. 

Ingredients for 4 people:
- 4 red (sweet) peppers 
- 150 grams feta cheese (or another cheese made out of goat/sheep milk)
- 220 grams butternut squash
- 30 grams quinoa
- vegetable stock (as much as needed to prepare the quinoa)
- pepper and salt to taste
- handful of raisins
- handful of fresh mint leaves
- 400 grams peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove of garlic

How to:
Put two peppers and the squash under the oven grill (highest temperature). Once the peppers are wrinkly all over their surface and feel soft when touched, take them out. Cut them in half vertically and remove all seeds so that each half has part of the stem. Take out the squash once it's soft. 
In the meanwhile, make a tomato-pepper sauce by cookingthe peeled tomatoes, two sweet red peppers (cut in smaller pieces), the cumin, the oregano and the garlic. Let all of this simmer for at least an hour and blend it afterwards so that it becomes a smooth sauce.

Prepare the quinoa as mentioned on the package with the stock. Add the raisins when the quinoa is nearly ready. They will soak up some of the water and get softened. Blend the squash once it's soft. Add it to the quinoa. Crumble the feta cheese and stir it under the quinoa-squash mixture. Cut the mint leaves in small pieces and stir them into the stuffing. Stuff the peppers with this filling.

Lay the stuffed peppers in the tomato sauce in an oven tray and let it all simmer for at least one hour at 200°C so that all aroma's are taken up.
I turned them oven halfway through cooking time also.

I served them with wheat semolina (used for couscous). I put some of the sauce on it for taste. When cut open, the stuffed peppers had the nicest yellow colour. 

We really loved the taste of it all. I felt sorry for not making more for us, because it was finished in no time! Even my sister who's a very, very difficult eater said she really liked it ... ;)

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