Hello Fun Seekers

The Passionate Pursuit of Delight

Archive

Lentil Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

Lentil Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

What the heck do vegetarians eat? I hear this all the time from friends and family who want to invite someone they care about over for dinner. But, when that person is a vegetarian many cooks get stumped. Ask my Mom. She will tell you. That poor woman has two daughters are totally or nearly vegetarian and two grandkids are vegetarian. She will tell you that she hates inviting us over for dinner because she has no idea what to make. So, Mom, Lentil Picadillo Stuffed Peppers is one great alternative to consider. It is hearty enough that even carnivores (like your husband) will feel satisfied.

First, a little background about Picadillo which is a popular dish in Spain and many Latin American countries. Picadillo is typically made with ground beef, tomatoes, and a variety of spices. It is often served with rice and used a filling for dishes like tacos or savory pastries.

Lentil Picadillo Stuffed PeppersI like this healthier version of Picadillo swaps out ground beef for lentils. Lentils are inexpensive to buy, low in fat, high in fiber, and full of protein. By sautéing aromatics like onion and garlic with chili powder, cinnamon, Italian seasoning, cocoa powder, and tomatoes, you can achieve a rich flavorful broth to coat the lentils.

This version of Lentil Picadillo is most similar to the Picadillo found in Puerto Rico which includes green olives for a salty bite and raisins for a sweet chewy texture. In Puerto Rico, Picadillo is a common filling for empanadas or fritters. In this recipe, I add cooked rice to the Picadillo and stuff it inside a sweet red bell pepper before baking.

Lentil Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

Finally, lentil Picadillo Stuffed Peppers is a great make ahead meal. You could prep the Picadillo on the weekend and then on a weeknight, stuff the peppers and bake.  A healthy, homemade dinner will be on the table in under 30 minutes. What is not to love about that? Also, can you say lunch leftovers? Just try not to gloat as your coworker pulls her sad little Lean Cuisine out of the microwave.

How to Make Lentil Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

Lentil Picadillo Stuffed Pepper

Kicked-up Goat Cheese Queso

Goat Cheese Queso Recipe inspired by Cooking Light

I don’t trust people that don’t like queso. How on earth can you resist the warm, cheesy goodness? I know that I can’t resist a bowl that is for damn sure. Queso and tortilla chips are up there at the top of my comfort -food list.  Queso is a perfect snack for game time, which if you are sports-obsessed like us, you are always perfecting your queso game.

There is much chatter in queso circles about whether to processed cheese product, like Velveeta or Cheese Whiz, makes the perfect queso. Many foodies turn up their noses at the idea and prefer to make their cheese sauce from scratch with real cheese.  I am an equal opportunity queso eater and lover and don’t discriminate against processed cheese product. It is impossible to deny the perfect melting capability of cheese products.

Goat Cheese Queso

But, sometimes, you may want to fancy up your queso. Maybe you are having friends or family over for dinner and want to impress your coworkers at the holiday potluck. If this sounds like you, then you are going to be excited about this goat cheese based queso. The goat cheese gives the queso a nice tang. Another unexpected ingredient in this queso is white beans. The beans give the recipe a healthful boast of fiber and low-fat protein, but they blend into a smooth perfection that is undetectable to those not in the know.

This goat cheese queso also ups the queso cred with the addition of leeks. Have you worked with leeks before? They look like really big green onions but have a mild oniony flavor.  Leeks need to be cut in half from the root all the way to the top. Then, you will run water over each half getting any sand or grit out between the layers. Here’s a video that shows to clean leeks.

I have also found chopped bags of cleaned leeks at Trader Joe’s stores which are a nice short cut if you aren’t feeling Zen about cleaning leeks. If the idea leeks are more than you can bear then you can substitute onions or shallots instead.

Another way to add some health-inducing benefits to this queso is to serve with your favorite chopped vegetables. I recommend thick strips of red bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, and celery, in addition to tortilla chips.

Goat Cheese Queso Pin

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén