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Simple Stuffed Peppers

Claire Wright

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

olive oil

4 peppers (any colour - red, orange and yellow are sweeter than green so easier for kids)

1 mug of Basmati rice

1 onion, finely diced

250g pork mince (lamb or beef mince work here, too, or use a tin of cooked chickpeas for a veggie option)

1 courgette (and/or 1 aubergine), finely diced

1 tbsp mixed dried herbs

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten free version)

salt & pepper, to taste

a large handful of fresh parsley or basil, roughly chopped

Veg Portions / Serving: 2

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Recipe created for Veg Power by Claire Wright. Food photography by Claire Wright | raisingsugarfreekids.com

Claire Wright from addsomeveg.com shares 3 simple ways to prepare peppers that the whole family will enjoy.

These stuffed peppers may take a little effort, but they are cheap, filling and delicious. Definitely worth a little faff!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the tops off the peppers and de-seed them, pulling off as much of the white pith as possible, too. Rub all over with a little olive oil, then place cut side down on a baking tray lined with baking paper or foil and roast for 20 mins, until slightly softened.

While they are roasting, cook the rice by rinsing it and adding to a saucepan with 1 mug of water. Bring to the boil then cover and turn the heat down to simmer for about 10-12 mins for white Basmati rice or 25-30 mins for brown Basmati rice, until the water is absorbed. Turn the heat off and leave the rice in the pan with the lid on to steam for a few more mins to make it fluffy.

Get a large frying pan over a low-medium heat and heat a tablespoon of olive oil or butter, then gently fry the diced onion and mince for 10 mins, until meat is browned all over and the onion is soft and slightly golden, adding the diced courgette after 5 mins so it gets a chance to soften, too. Mix in the cooked rice and herbs, season to taste with pepper & Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce, then turn the softened peppers cut side up on the baking tray and stuff with the rice and meat mixture. Grate some cheese over the top, if you like, then return to the oven for another 10-15 mins, until everything is piping hot, cheese is melted and it is all cooked through. Serve hot sprinkled with fresh roughly chopped parsley or basil and any extra stuffing that wouldn’t fit in the peppers (if you have any spice fans in the family, a tiny pinch of chilli flakes or a few drops of hot sauce go well, too). Serve with a green salad or diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onion drizzled with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Give the kids a dessert spoon and let them scoop the seeds and white pith out of the peppers once you’ve cut the tops off. Let them measure out the rice and water with a mug, and show them how to spoon the stuffing into the peppers. Teach them to carefully cut the fresh herbs with scissors and have them sprinkle the cheese and herbs over when serving.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Claire Wright

Editor: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, then Editor, looking after Veg Power's website, content, recipes and social media platforms.

addsomeveg.com/

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