I’ve made no secret of the fact that I previously considered vegetarian-based dishes to be bland and, well, just for vegetarians. But my ignorance has slowly subsided, helped by brilliant recipes like mushroom, feta and tomato baked peppers from the Hairy Dieters. This really was a bit of a game changer for me when it came to reducing my over-reliance on meat.
I love mushrooms and feta is probably my favourite cheese. And although I’m not a massive fan of peppers, roasting them in the oven makes them taste sweeter and the accompanying filling is plentiful and sublime. You should have enough of the filling left to make another portion of this which you can either freeze or enjoy the next day.
Don’t forget to cover the surface of the stuffing with some foil, otherwise trust me, they will burn!
Recipe: Mushroom, feta and tomato baked peppers
Calories: 401 per serving
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 15 minutes
Cooking time: Approx 45 mins
Ingredients: 4 sun-dried tomato pieces in oil (drained well), 2 tsp sunflower oil, 175g chestnut mushrooms (wiped and diced), 20g blanched hazelnuts (roughly chopped), 1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed), 50g dry white breadcrumbs, ½ small bunch of parsley, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 100g feta or soft goat’s cheese (drained), 2 smallish peppers (red or yellow), ground black pepper.
Cost per portion: Approx £2.12
Method: Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°/Gas 7. Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and stir-fry the mushrooms over a high heat for 4 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped hazelnuts and fry for a further minute until the nuts are lightly toasted. Season with a good grind of black pepper and remove from the heat.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and chilli flakes until thoroughly combined. Break the cheese into small chunks and toss them through the stuffing lightly. Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and carefully remove the seeds and membrane.
Place the peppers in a small foil-tinned roasting tin, cut side up, and fill each half with the mushroom and feta stuffing. Cover the surface of the stuffing with a small piece of foil. Bake for 35 minutes until tender, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time. Serve warm with a lightly dressed mixed salad.