I have really enjoyed picking back up Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen by chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. This book improved my black bean skills and has encouraged me to put them into play with new flavor combinations. Although it is not a vegetarian cookbook, you still get some great veggie meals and sides dishes. One of my favorite variations that I have put together is the vegetable stuffing in this recipe. This stuffing is very versatile which I try to highlight in this post. I made a few changes playing with other ingredients that I often have around. Overall, a great recipe that you can make your own and use for your weekly meal prep. After all, thats what it is all about!
1-2 tbsp chopped jalapeño (based on your preference for hotness)
1 cup crushed unsalted canned tomatoes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp thyme (or more!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste
Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F. In a medium pot, cook dry lentils as indicated by bag (or use already cooked lentils). I cooked red lentils (from Traders Joes) with low sodium veggie broth. After lentils are done, empty pot and fill back up with water to a boil. Add barley and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside with lentils. I didn’t clean the pot between use. No need to!
Heat oil in a skillet (I used cast iron) with medium flame. When hot, add chopped onion and thyme and sauté for ~ 3 minutes. Add carrot, potato, jalapeño, celery and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Add garlic (feel free to add a lot), tomato, vinegar, pepper and salt and sauté for another few minutes. Like it spicy? Add your favorite hot sauce to taste. I like to add salt at the very end of my sauté when the flavors are coming through nice. Add lentils, garbanzo beans, and barely. Bring it all together and sauté for about 10 more minutes.
Prep your peppers so you can stuff them! You can lightly brown your peppers on a pan with a little oil (see image above) but its not necessary. The last time I made this, I chose to stuff 4 bell-pepper and left the rest to play with in other ways such as tacos and tostadas. Add stuffed peppers into an oven safe dish (upright) with about 1/4 cup of water in dish. Cover with foil over peppers and cook for about 30 minutes. The water will help steam the peppers. After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake ~ 15 minutes. At this time the stuffing will crisp a little. If you want cheese on top, you might put it on now to melt.
Garnish with cilantro, chives, sour cream, shredded cheese, more jalapeño or anything else you want!
Suggestion: Since you are already cooking legumes and a grain, take this opportunity to help you meal prep for the week and cook extra! I prefer to cook with dry beans but you don’t need to. I often shop at Trader Joe’s which is why I used dry lentils and canned garbanzo. Do what feels best. Also, if you don’t want to use barley, quinoa and wild rice would go great too. Enjoy and have fun with it!