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MILLET stuffed Bell PEPPER cups

One of my favourite whole grains was
going to honour our deliciously healthy meal.




A leisurely stroll through our neighbourhood market
led us to so many vegetable varieties and yet
these gorgeous peppers kept luring us towards them.



We finally caved at this stand...
where the great array of peppers
brought out a sweet aroma to the air.

I decided that the bright red bell ones were going to get a good stuffing.


Armed with a variety of peppers...
next came the recipe idea for stuffing them.



With so many varieties of grains that peppers could be stuffed with...
I decided on MILLET...a very nutritional and lightly pronounced whole grain cereal.
A few years back, I was fortunate to have discovered this very
interesting grain, physically described as tiny pearl-like cereal grains.

Millet is apparently native to Africa and Asia,
where most of the world's use of this grain is still heavily consumed.
It's also fantastic for being one of the few grains that need very little water to grow.
Great for the planet and great for our environmental conscience ;o)

Millet is sold in the various tints of gray, red and white also.
I usually use the creamy yellowish kind...which is easily available.





This grain is blessed with a good amount of iron, and a very substantial amount of magnesium as well as phosphorous
For both Hubby and I...magnesium is a sought after mineral since we each get our share of terrible migraines.  It happens to be in our genes and not because we stress each other out...well at least not all the time ;o) 

The phosphorous element aids in the development and repair of body tissue.
Just as oats protect our precious hearts...millet also is very strong in the heart protection aspect. 'Pitter patter' go our low blood pressured hearts so that Hubby and I can keep loving each other forever in good health ;o).

An added bonus: A study done in the American Journal of Gastroenterology...showed that insoluble fibre rich grains such as MILLET can help women avoid gallstones.  I'm all for that.  Anything to help de-guilt me from having lusciously tasting buttery creams once and a while.

Amongst so many other grains...millet is a staple in our pantry.  I selected it not only for it's nutritional strength, but also for its gluten-free properties as well as providing great alternatives to rice and couscous. 
The cooked texture can be fluffed up like rice or cooked to a creamy consistency like mashed potatoes.  It is also easily used for breakfast meals as well.



***

Usually, I've made stuffed bell peppers numerous ways by using
several grains...and yet, they've never been stuffed with millet.
It was due time that this nutritional grain honoured our peppers.










MILLET stuffed Bell PEPPER cups
serves 2-3 persons as a main meal

Get a PRINT VERSION here

INGREDIENTS:
(American / Metric measures)

. 3 large, Bell Peppers *
    (halved lengthwise and cleaned out)

. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) grape seed oil
. 1 large, sweet onion, thinly sliced
. 1/2 cup (195g) organic, hulled Millet grain
. 1/2 (2.5ml) tsp. sea salt
. 1/4 cup (40g) crushed, roasted nuts (almonds preferred)
. 3 tbsp. (45ml) e.v olive oil
. 1/4 cup (40g) chopped sun-dried tomatoes (de-hydrated) optional
. 1/2 cup (20g) flat Italian parsley, chopped
. 1/2 cup (80g) Parmesan cheese (about a cup grated and packed)
. 1 cup (120g) semi-hard Mozzarella cheese

* Note: Bell peppers of the green variety is usually not recommended for this type of recipe.
It has a tendency to turn a less appealing discoloration and does not hold the same sweet flavour.

PREPARATION:
Use a shallow rectangular or square pan that will fit all peppers.

1. In a medium skillet, at MEDIUM-HIGH, heat the oil with the sliced onions until the caramelization process has been well set.  This will take about 20 minutes. Close heat and set aside.  Note: the onions can be prepared ahead of time if you wish.







2. Using a small-medium saucepan, prepare to lightly steam the six halved peppers for no more than 10 minutes.  Take them out to slightly cool.  Remember...on the same stovetop, you'll also be using the same pot to cook the grain.  This step could be skipped, however, it will not only reduce the amount of oven cooking time, it also preserves more nutrients and helps keep the vibrant color.  At the same time, the stuffing won't have a chance to over-dry.    

 


3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, cover the millet grain with water and let it soak.  Although, it is of organic origins...this soaking will help in further eliminating any other possible remaining toxins.
4. During this time, pour 2 cups (250ml) of water in that same small-medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the salt
5. Pre-heat the oven at 350F/180C /Gas4 with the rack at the bottom shelf.
6. Rinse the millet well with the aid of a tiny hole colander and then pour into the boiling pot.  When the rolling boil has started again, lower it to a very low simmer and then cover the pot for about 15 minutes so that it turns out like fluffy rice.  Once cooked, add this into the onion mix.  Then, add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, roasted nuts and finally the chopped parsley.

 




7. Slice the piece of mozzarella cheese.  Place a few pieces at the bottom of each cup. 

8. Stuff the peppers by packing in the Millet mix evenly throughout all pepper cups. 




10. Finish the tops by adding 3 cut sticks of mozzarella cheese.

11. Place all six halves in a parchment lined shallow pan. 

BAKE for 30 minutes.  Shut the oven and leave them rest for another 15 minutes.  Do not open oven door beforehand.   Serve.











 
My very lovely, Italian Mother-in-law
makes stuffed peppers very often
and quite differently than mine. 
What's for darn sure is that she knows
her cooking...yet, she still politely asks
if we like what she put on the table.

Therefore, as my MIL would say in
her cute broken English...
I'll ask you in the same endearing way...
" How da ya likka mi pepparr"?


Flavourful wishes,
Foodessa


Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com




Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Here are other tasty VEGETARIAN inspired dishes: