Stuffed Peppers

I found a big bag of peppers going cheap! I was just going to make veggie sausages, mash and beans for dinner but decided to show a little more imagination and make stuffed peppers with cous cous and salad. I chopped four small peppers in half lengthwise, pulled out the seeds and bits inside and cooked on a lightly oiled baking tray at 180°C for 10 mins. You can knock up a quick stuffing in this time. In a small pan fry a finely chopped onion, crushed garlic and one finely chopped leek until just beginning to colour. Then add a can of black-eyed beans (peas) and a pinch of smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper and some mixed herbs. Cook for five minutes then roughly mash with a potato masher. Don’t break up all the beans, leave a few whole ones. You can adapt the filling, spices and seasoning to taste… you could add mushrooms, parsley, oregano, cumin, fresh ginger or whatever you fancy. If you don’t have black-eyed beans you could use borlotti or kidney beans which would go well with chilli powder and/or chipotle sauce. Spoon the mixture into the warm peppers and gently press down filling the gaps until more or less level. Blend one or two slices of wholemeal bread (or a big crust) into fine breadcrumbs. Stir in one tsp of lemon zest and a glug of olive oil (lemon olive oil if you have it). Carefully spoon the lemony breadcrumbs over the stuffed peppers and return to the oven for 15-20 mins. Serve with cous cous, rice or new potatoes and a big crunchy salad.

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