Top | The Vegetable Challenge

The sun never sets on the Vegetable Challenge

(post, James Berry)

On my second day of the Vegetable Challenge, I should have been able to bring a bit more forethought to the table, but success ended up hanging on fate and leftovers.

Breakfast I whiffed once again, though I'm looking forward to trying soon some of the ideas suggested by all of you. For lunch, I went with the bounty of the season, pulling together a cheese-and-tomato sandwich, with carrots on the side. Very satisfying.

[%image peppers-board float=right width=300 caption='Peppers ready to stuff.']

Racing out of the office toward home and dinner as my wife rushed to an engagement, I wondered how I was going to pull off a dinner that the kids would eat and that would satisfy my vegetable goal — while still making it to the Apple Store at 7:20 for a Genius Bar appointment to fix a broken machine.

Fortunately, fate triumphed over panic as office-mate Mark handed me a bag of homegrown peppers, and inspiration soon joined the party: I'd stuff those suckers. My luck held as the refrigerator yielded sufficient leftovers to make the stuffing, a key ingredient of which I decided should be oat groats — a discovery from the last challenge.

[%image peppers-grill float=left width=300 caption='The peppers were grilled for 20-30 minutes.']

I lit the grill, then carefully cut the tops off the peppers and scraped out the seeds. In a bit of olive oil, I heated a cup and a half of leftover cooked oat groats (one could substitute rice or breadcrumbs), and added a similar amount of diced mozzarella, along with red-pepper flakes, chopped fresh basil, and salt. I stirred it over the heat until it bound together in a hot runny mass.

Then it was just a matter of stuffing the mixture into the peppers, reinserting their tops, and putting them onto the grill until they were adequately cooked, 20 to 30 minutes. 

One caution: If you're going to try this, don't fill the peppers completely, as the expanding stuffing will push the tops out. 

The stuffed peppers, along with a butter lettuce and avocado salad, made a satisfying dinner that even my girls gobbled up. Score one for Dad. Do I get bonus points for incorporating bits of two challenges?

[%image peppers-stuffed float=right width=300 caption="Peppers ready to eat — they didn't last long."]

|!The vegetable scorecard||
|Tomatoes|¾ cup|
|Carrots|¾ cup|
|Peppers|1½ cups|
|Green salad|1½ cups|
|!Total|!4½ cups|

Q: Anybody have other interesting variations on how to stuff peppers?

peppers-board, l

peppers-grill, l

peppers-stuffed, l

reference-image, l