Kwanzaa Inspired Meatless Moroccan Stuffed Peppers
Add some zing to your dinner with these harissa-flavored stuffed peppers. Couscous is quick, with only a few minutes of stove time required to make a tender, fluffy stuffing. Ricotta stands in for the fresh Moroccan cheese used in traditional dishes, and raisins add a complementary sweetness.
4 large green bell peppers
1/2 cup couscous
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons harissa sauce
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup raisins
8 ounces ricotta cheese
- Cut the caps from the peppers by cutting in a circle around the stem and cut peppers in half lengthwise. Place the peppers in a casserole dish. Trim away the seeds and white membranes.
- In a small pot, bring ¾ cup water to a boil, then add the couscous, cumin and salt. Return to a boil, reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until couscous has absorbed all the water. Remove from heat and fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the drained chickpeas, tomatoes, raisins and ricotta cheese and stir to mix. Add the couscous and harissa, folding in.
- Stuff the couscous mixture into the peppers. If there is extra mixture, spoon it into the bottom of the baking pan. Place the pepper tops back on each pepper like a lid, pressing down firmly. Cover the pan loosely with foil or a lid.
- Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the peppers are tender. Serve hot.
These veggie peppers make a full meal on their own, but also pair well with grilled chicken or Merguez sausages.
Yield: 4 servings