Vegetarian Recipe–Stuffed Capsicum

This is a filling recipe that is automatically portion controlled according to the size of the capsicum
4-6 capsicum–any color you prefer
4 cups cooked brown rice, barley or quinoa
1 to 2 cups (total) diced onion, carrot, celery….use what you have on hand
1/2 cup grated cheese–your favorite, but I prefer parmesan or cheddar
Seasoning of your choice–for Italian style, 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta sauce.  For a Mexican style, use salsa
Preheat oven to 350 F, 180 C
Prepare the barley or brown rice according to package directions.  Dice and lightly saute the onions, carrots, celery, or any other veggies you are using.  They can also go in raw. 
Combine pasta sauce with the vegetables and rice.  If you like cheese, you can add extra here!
Wash and trim the capsicum–cut around the stem and remove seeds and any white pith.  Place capsicum in a large rectangular baking dish.  If they do not stand up nicely, you can trim the bottoms flat–but not too much or the filling will leak out the bottom.  Pour about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the dish.
Fill the capsicum almost to the top with the rice mixture.  Leftover rice mixture can be used in a wrap or on salad.  Top the stuffed capsicum with shredded cheese.  Bake approximately 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbly and capsicum are softened.  Serve hot

Lentil soup with Lime and Garlic

While I am on the topic of vegetarianism, here’s a recipe for lentil soup that I’ve been using regularly because I like it so much! It reminds me of wholesome chicken soup even though it’s completely vegetarian. It’s not too difficult to make once you get used to the process and I sometimes freeze portions that I can’t finish and it still tastes pretty good. I bring it to work in a tumbler that keeps the soup hot so I can have it for lunch. So here goes:-
(serves 4)
Ingredients:- 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion (chopped), 4-5 cloves of garlic, 3 celery sticks (cubed), 1-2 carrots (cubed), 1 potato (peeled and cubed), 1 cup of red lentils (rinsed, you can find lentils cheaply available at Mustafa centre), 1 litre of vegetable stock, 1 large lime (Mustafa has very nice limes), 1/2 tsp ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic until fragrant. Add celery, carrots and potato. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add the lentils and stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add ground cumin, squeeze the juice from the lime into the pot and stir. Cook for a few more minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender. Then season with salt and ground black pepper.
It tastes splendid just on its own or served with a side salad. 🙂