Farro and Feta Stuffed Peppers


Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the farro. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, 25 minutes; drain.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a medium deep casserole dish or baking pan with nonstick spray.

Cut a thin slice from the tops of the bell peppers; remove the ribs and seeds. Stir together the farro, chickpeas, scallions, cranberries, feta, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spoon the farro mixture evenly into the bell peppers. Place the peppers in the prepared casserole. Pour the cider into the casserole. Cover and bake until the peppers are tender, 1 hour. Transfer to a plate and cover.

To make a sauce, pour the cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the stuffed peppers.


Creamy Stuffed Peppers with Farro, Mushrooms + Asparagus

I have a fun, nutritious recipe today, featuring stuffed peppers! But first, let&rsquos take part in the fun that is WIAW! These are some eats from Monday, President&rsquos Day!

I have been killing this concoction of strawberry-coconut overnight oats lately. It is sooo creamy. Basically, it&rsquos heaven. I&rsquoll be sharing the recipe soon. I seem to change one minor thing each morning and I can&rsquot decide which I like best, just yet.

After breakfast, I caught up on some news, did a little work and research and headed to the grocery store. Since grocery shopping usually makes me hungry (staring at food), I came home and made myself a snack ASAP as possible (Michael Scott quote..anyone?). Half of an apple, some rather large baby carrots, and some black bean/quinoa chips (From TJ&rsquos) to dip into this kale/spinach yogurt dip (also from TJ&rsquos). And an unpictured rice cake with PB. Always gotta have PB.

Lunch was gnocci with zucc&rsquos, spinach, tomatoes and pancetta. I haven&rsquot had gnocci in forever and this basically rekindled allll of my love for it. So so good. Naturally, I added lots of cheese to make it extra creamy. I hope to share the recipe for this soon because it came out amazing.

I got a little run in after lunch because it was 55 and sunny here in Charlotte, after a week of cold cold weather. It was so nice to see the sun again and run in shorts and a tee. I did 7 miles, and then worked on some core work as well.

Luckily, I had some leftovers prepped for dinner, which were these farro stuffed peppers, full of so many nutritious rockstars, like mushrooms (hellllo Vitamin D), and asparagus. And cheese, of course. Recipe is below.

Andddd, nightcap. A little too much of this&hellip

So, now that I have you curious about these stuffed peppers&hellip

I found a sad half-used bag of farro sitting in my cupboards screaming to be used, which served as the perfect form of recipe inspiration. FYI, farro is a grain high in protein and fiber. It has a very similar nutritional value to quinoa. I became obsessed with farro when I was living in Portland, and was ordering grain and macro bowls everywhere. It&rsquos a nice change from brown rice (it&rsquos nuttier and chewier).

Its complex carbohydrates can be beneficial for bowel regulation, clearing plaque buildup in the arteries, supporting a healthy gut, and keeping us fuller and sustained for longer. It&rsquos also high in iron, magnesium, and essential B vitamins. Plus, you&rsquore getting a heaping serving of Vitamin C with the pepper, and some bonus nutrients from the arugula I snuck in. Win all around.

The top layer of cheese and just a few more minutes of baking brought these guys to a whole new level. The farro is already creamy and nutty to begin with, but the cheese makes it extra creamy. You could get creative and use any type. I think feta might be amazing (noted for next time).

[Tweet &ldquoWho doesn&rsquot love melted cheese? Add these cheesy farro stuffed peppers to your recipe list!&rdquo]


Greek Stuffed Peppers with Feta and Spinach

If you’re like me and want to feed your family fun, new dishes worth raving about, you come here to Tasty Kitchen for inspiration. And even more so when you’re trying to find recipes that are healthy! I’ve found so many wonderful, healthy creations to make in my own kitchen. This one from Jen for Greek Stuffed Peppers with Feta & Spinach was perfection. It’s packed with whole grains, vegetables, and even a little cheese so you don’t feel like you’re left wanting. So if you are looking for a Meatless Monday meal, or just to incorporate more vegetables into your routine, these are a sure-fire hit.


Stuffed peppers are always great for weeknight meals. For these, round up bell peppers, farro (or its cousin barley), onion, canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, vegetable or chicken broth, spinach, and crumbled feta cheese.


And whoops, don’t forget the spinach! I used a package of frozen chopped spinach and thawed it in my microwave according to the package directions. After the spinach is thawed, be sure to squeeze it out well to get rid of any extra water. The extra water will just make the pepper filling soggy, and no one wants that!


Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Next, prepare your bell peppers. Slice the peppers in half and remove the inner seeds and the white pith. Place them on a baking sheet and brush with a little olive oil.

Place them into the oven and bake until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.


While the peppers are in the oven, move on to chopping the onion. Chop it into fine pieces.


In a sauté pan over medium heat, add in a little olive oil and heat until glistening. Saute the onions until they are soft and just starting to turn translucent. Then add in the garlic and sauté until just fragrant, about 1 minute.


Next, add the broth. I used chicken broth because that it what I had on hand. But to make this truly vegetarian, be sure to use vegetable broth.

This concentrated chicken broth bottle was a neato find at my grocery store. It only requires 2 teaspoons of concentrate, and 2 cups of water to make chicken broth. It’s handy so I don’t have lots of half-opened containers of broth in my fridge. My husband is very thankful for this discovery!


Once the broth is added in, the tomatoes are next.


Along with the farro! Farro and barley are whole grain cousins, so use either one for this recipe.


Add in the remaining spices and bring the whole mixture up to a simmer. Cover and let it do its thing until the moisture is absorbed and the farro is soft.


Once the farro is done, it’s time to add in the spinach. Fold it in until it’s mixed evenly.


Then it’s time for the pine nuts!


For the finishing touch, add in half of the crumbled feta and fold in to combine.


Fill each roasted bell pepper with a healthy dollop of the farro vegetable mixture and crumble the remaining feta on top. Serve immediately.

I had so many of these left over that I ended up eating them for lunch the next day and they tasted incredible. Take them to lunch for a twist on a cold salad. If you need more healthy inspiration, check out these Coconut Vegan Pancakes!

Thanks for sharing your recipe, Jen! Be sure to stop by Jen’s blog, The Scrumptious Pumpkin, and her TK recipe box for more delicious creations.

Do you incorporate a meatless meal into your weekly routine? What is your favorite meatless meal? Leave a link to your favorite or shout it out in the comments for me and your Tasty Kitchen friends to find!


Lentil and Farro Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is a sponsored post. We are excited to be working with Canadian Lentils and Half Your Plate in this #LentilsLoveVeggies campaign! All opinions are always our own and lentils and veggies are always Nonna Approved!

Go to recipe

You may recall in an earlier post about Nonna&rsquos lentil soup that as a child Nonna Pina, like most children in Italy at the time, were told to eat their lentils so they would stay healthy. Well, Nonna knows best because as we now know, lentils are loaded with important nutrients, are high in fibre and iron, serve as a great source of protein and are low in fat! What other reason do you need to give lentils a try?

Did you know that this &ldquonutritional powerhouse&rdquo is grown right here in Canada? We are now the world&rsquos largest exporter of lentils!

With 2016 being declared, International Year of the Pulses (pulses are the edible seeds of legumes), we have seen an explosion of recipes featuring lentils as awareness of this pulse is increasing and people are looking for healthier and affordable alternatives they can easily prepare for their families. This historically treasured legume is back and here to stay!

Nonna&rsquos Way aims to showcase Italian recipes straight from Nonna&rsquos Kitchen where lentils have always had a place. Typically Nonnas will use lentils in soup dishes and stuff peppers with a meat and rice mixture. Our mission was to make a meatless stuffed pepper that would have people fighting over the last forkful and leave even a seasoned Nonna asking for the recipe! We think we&rsquove nailed it! You&rsquore going to love these lentil and farro stuffed peppers as much as our families do. The cheese mixture is perfect with the artichokes and adds a delectable creaminess to the dish!

As a bonus, peppers are an amazing source of Vitamin C, readily available and very affordable. On that note, the Half your Plate initiative aims to provide easy and tasty ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals. Just make it a point to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit all the time for a healthier you!

A quick note when making this. Mix the cheeses and yogurt together until well combined then add in the lentil/farro mixture so as not to mush up the lentils.

If you have any of the pepper stuffing left, don&rsquot throw it out! Consider it the cook&rsquos treat:) It is yummy all on it&rsquos own!

In case you&rsquove been skeptical to try lentils don&rsquot because they are easy to prepare and you can incorporate them into so many recipes you already enjoy including breakfast and even desserts! Furthermore, lentils are delicious on their own but work well with any flavor you throw at them so you can add an amazing healthy component to your meals without compromising taste.

TIP: There&rsquos no need to soak dried lentils. A little rinse before cooking is sufficient to remove any debris. They will double and sometimes triple in size so use 3 cups water to 1 cup dried lentils. Also, do not salt lentils untill after they are cooked or they will become tough. For added flavour you can also try using a broth instead of water.
It&rsquos easy to cook plenty at once and add them to your meals throughout the week. They store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months.


Recipe: Zucchini stuffed with farro, red pepper and feta

1. Cook farro in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 5-quart gratin dish with olive oil.

3. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and use a melon baller or serrated spoon to remove the insides of the zucchini to make what looks like a canoe. If using a melon baller, use the large scoop to remove most of the pulp in balls and then the small scoop to smooth the sides. Leave about one-quarter inch of the flesh at the sides and a little more at the bottom. Collect the pulp on a cutting board and chop coarsely.

4. Season the inside of the zucchini boats lightly with salt and steam over rapidly boiling water until almost tender, about 5 minutes.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini pulp and basil and cook until dry, about 10 minutes.

6. Increase the heat to high. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until dry. Set aside to cool.

7. Stir the cooked farro, pine nuts and feta into the cooled vegetable mixture. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out zucchinis, mounding on top. It will take 4 to 6 tablespoons per zucchini half.

8. Arrange the stuffed zucchini in the gratin dish they may fit quite tightly. Sprinkle the tops with more crumbled feta. Pour the water into the baking dish so it just covers the bottom. Bake until the tops have browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

9. Drizzle the top of each zucchini with a little more olive oil, transfer to a serving platter and scatter over more slivered basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Farro Stuffed Peppers

Makes 6 stuffed pepper halves

1/2 cup farro or brown rice or orzo

3 large bell peppers (any color works nicely)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

8 ounces brown mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 small zucchini (or half of a large one), chopped

1 small bunch cavalo nero or lacinto kale, tough stems removed, leaves chopped

1 pound ground beef, lamb or pork

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup chopped black kalamata or other Greek-style olives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Grated zest and juice from one lemon

1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Heat oven to 375°. Cook farro (or rice or orzo) according to package instructions. Drain, if necessary, transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Halve the peppers lengthwise through the stem and carefully trim out the seeds and any ribs, leaving the stem intact. Arrange the peppers, cut side up, in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Season pepper halves with salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and anchovy and cook, stirring, for one minute. Transfer onion mixture to the bowl with the farro. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to the skillet along with mushrooms and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just starting to brown. Stir in kale and continue to cook for one minute to allow the kale to wilt slightly. Transfer to the farro mixture. Add beef (or lamb or pork) and cook, breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon, until browned. Stir beef into bowl along with tomatoes, olives, oregano, lemon zest and juice, and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Season mixture with salt and pepper and stir until just combined. Stuff mixture into peppers, piling it up fairly high, drizzle with olive oil and top with remaining cheese. Add 1/4 cup water to the baking dish and bake until the peppers are tender, the mixture has heated through and the cheese has browned, 40 to 45 minutes.

NOTE:

You may end up with more stuffing than you have room to stuff, but save it…we made a version of shepherd’s pie with the excess. Spread a layer of the farro mixture in a baking dish and cover with a layer of mashed potatoes – bake at 350° until heated through and golden brown.


Greek Stuffed Peppers with Farro

This post may be sponsored and may also contain affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy for further details.

The holidays are a season of eating. Whether it is sugary Christmas cookies or the endless buffet of baked honey glazed ham, twice baked potatoes, and triple cheese stuffed shells, many of the festivities center around a dizzying array of holiday fare. After a couple weeks of splurging on food and drink, the start of a new year is a good time to think about revamping your daily diet. The New Year is a natural time for a fresh start. Renewed interests in exercise along with adopting a healthy approach to eating go hand in hand. As you flip the calendar to January, change a few of your less than nutritious eating habits for a healthier you. A few tips will help upstart your 2014 healthy eating plan.

  1. Add change a little at a time. Don&rsquot try to change too many unhealthy eating habits all at once. Swap out white bread for whole grain when making sandwiches and snack on cut up celery and carrots instead of chips.
  2. Try not to think of foods as banned or off limits. Allow yourself a small snack and you won&rsquot feel like you are missing out on a treat. Instead of a large slice of chocolate cake, opt for a mini cupcake instead.
  3. Try smaller portions. Use a slightly smaller plate to help curb overeating. People tend to fill up their plate when eating so naturally you will eat less if you use a smaller plate.
  4. Plan at least 3 to 4 healthy dinners each week and make one a vegetarian meal. Having a plan eliminates resorting to eating less than healthy foods.
  5. Eliminate useless trips to the grocery store by making a list of all the ingredients you need for stress-free cooking. Shop the perimeter of the store where the fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, and dairy are located. Bypass the center aisles where most of the highly processed foods are displayed.
  6. Do double duty cooking. Make more servings than you will eat in one meal so packing lunches or having a healthy dinner after a long day of work is a no-brainer. You will be less likely to detour to the fast food lane if you know you have a nutritious meal waiting at home.
  7. Add a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Produce comes in a variety of colors. Add beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, raspberries, kale, broccoli, apples, oranges, and cauliflower to your diet. They are packed with calcium, iron, antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
  8. Include a variety of whole grains for added taste and texture. Many whole grains are readily available at the grocery store and include quinoa, farro, brown rice, oats, and barley. They are naturally low in fat, a good source of vitamins and minerals and help to keep you feel full longer. Grains are very versatile and can be served as a cereal, in soup, as a pilaf, or in a salad.
  9. Don&rsquot eat alone. Eating with others promotes less mindless eating. And studies show that eating together at home is healthier than eating out. Dinners made at home are less likely to be fried, loaded with salt and contain more fruits and vegetables than meals served at restaurants.

Get a jumpstart on your healthy eating plan for 2014 with Greek Stuffed Peppers with Farro. They are filled with wide array of vegetables, whole grains and protein packed beans. Adding a delicious vegetarian meal will that keep you full and satisfied while adding vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to your diet.


Cubanelle Peppers Stuffed with Farro

Cubanelle peppers, sometimes referred to as Italian frying peppers, are a great choice as a side or main dish. Fill the cavities with everything from sausage and onions to rice and whole grains like farro, a variety of wheat berry enjoying renewed interest today for its teeming health properties.

Recipe Course Main Course

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 banana peppers

Instructions

Cover the farro with the broth or water in a one-quart saucepot. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and let the farro cook until most of the broth is absorbed and the farro is tender.

Drain in a colander and transfer it to a medium size bowl. Stir in the egg, 1/2 cup of the cheese, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.

Cut down 1/2 inch off the stem tops of the peppers and set aside. Tap out the seeds or use a small spoon to remove and discard them.

Fill the peppers with some of the farro mixture but do not pack them too tightly, otherwise they may split while baking. Make a small incision on the side of each pepper with a small paring knife to allow steam to escape while baking.

Brush a medium size casserole dish with the remaining olive oil and place the peppers in a single layer in the dish.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake them for 30 minutes. Uncover sprinkle the remaining cheese over the peppers and bake 5 minutes longer.
Serve hot.


Farro and Bean Stuffed Peppers

Earlier this year I learned a couple of things: 1). I learned about an awesome conference coming to Philadelphia, Eat, Write, Retreat, and 2). I learned farro was on many popular lists as a top food to watch in 2013.

I have been stalking the Eat, Write, Retreat website for months, looking at the updated speakers lists and conference details. Unfortunately, the conference isn’t in my budget (boo for me!). When I learned Tuscan Farro Fields, the provider of organic, Italian farro, was offering a scholarship to this spring’s Eat, Write, Retreat conference in Philadelphia to one lucky winner who creates a delicious dish featuring Tuscan Fields farro, I knew I had to give it a try. The contest was limited to the first 50 to sign up and guess who happened the score the last entry into the contest – this girl. Lucky #50? One can only hope.

Farro (pronounced FAHR-oh) is often used as a substitute for pasta or rice. Farro is a grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice. It is gluten-free and rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E. As part of the contest, Tuscan Fields shipped two boxes of its farro (plain and mushroom) to the contestants.

My first recipe for the farro didn’t go so well. I had attempted to make a Roasted Asparagus, Mushroom Farro bake with Garlic-Cheese sauce using the mushroom farro. And, well, that recipe didn’t turn out so well. It was back to the drawing board.

My second recipe was a success. I decided to make Farro and Bean Stuffed Peppers using the plain version of Tuscan Field’s Farro. Yummy and hearty, I felt redeemed.


Ingredients

1. Rinse farro thoroughly under cold water in a fine mesh strainer. Add rinsed farro to a medium saucepan with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Drain farro of any excess liquid, put drained farro in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. While the farro cooks: Cut the tops off the peppers and rinse discarding any seeds. Set the hollow peppers to the side, remove the stems and dice the tops of the peppers. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, submerge the hollowed out peppers in the boiling water and cook for 7 minutes or until peppers are tender. Carefully drain the peppers and transfer them open-side down on a paper towel.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and diced pepper tops, cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

5. Add the diced onions and peppers, herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and HALF of the cheese to the bowl with the farro and mix thoroughly.

6. Place the hollowed peppers open-side up in a baking dish and fill evenly with the farro mixture then mound the remaining cheese on top.


Turkey and Farro Stuffed Peppers

Assembled in a few easy steps, this low-fat Mexican-style stuffed pepper is a flavor explosion of cilantro, green chilies and red onion. It’s mild enough for even the little eaters at your kitchen table. A complete balanced meal simple enough for a busy weekday meal but with such a variety of colors, textures and flavors, it’s definitely company-worthy.

Ingredients

  • 1-½ cup Water
  • ½ cups Uncooked Farro (rinsed)
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-¼ pound Lean Ground Turkey
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Chopped
  • ½ cups Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • ⅓ cups Canned Or Cooked Black Beans
  • ½ cups Corn
  • 8 ounces, weight Canned Chopped Green Chilies
  • 14-½ ounces, weight Canned Chili-Style Diced Tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Cumin
  • 4 whole Bell Peppers
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese Mexican Style

Preparation

Using a small pot, bring your water, farro and the first amount of salt to a boil and cook according to package instructions. When done, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey, onion, cilantro, beans, corn, chilies, diced tomatoes, cooked farro and seasonings and mix really well.

Slice your bell peppers in half (stem to bottom) and remove the seeds and membranes. Stuff as much of the filling into them as you can and place them in a greased pan. Divide cheese evenly among the 8 halves. I recommend that you use full fat cheese as the reduced fat really won’t save you much in the calorie department and melts quite poorly. Bake for approximately 40 minutes and you are done! Serve with a green salad and maybe some tortilla chips. See, I told you it was easy!



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