Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eeek - time to get going again

Wow - it really has been as long as I feared - ironically life has been so full of exciting things that blogging just dropped by the wayside.
As we gear up to another trip to the US to defend our title won last year (but this time in Orlando, Flroida), I suddenly remembered I had been blogging this time last year.
So back to it.
Since I last updated this site, I have spent two weeks on a church trip to Romania (life changing), been to Hillsong with Nicole (inspiring and fun) and Melbourne for our wedding anniversary (cool).
I have travelled more this year than in my entire life - long may it continue. Having to tighten our belts a lot to keep this up!
Christian won an in-house scholarship to pay for his air fares to LA so that's a start.
Getting inspiration for yummy but inexpensive meal ideas from our vegan daughter-in-law - slowly persuading suspicious famiy members to eat them!

Tried this for Wayne's birthday dinner - no complaints!

Stuffed Capsicum with Panko Topping

1 cup of uncooked brown or green lentils or rice

4 large or 8 small capsicum

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot , cut into small pieces
1 small zucchini, cut into small pieces

Handful of button mushrooms
400gm can chopped tomatoes
2 cups or more spinach

1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme

½ - 1tesp chilli flakes (depending on your heat liking!)
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Salt and Pepper to taste

Panko Topping
1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs (or ordinary if you don’t have Panko)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 180C/360F.

Cook lentils or rice. If using lentils they should still retain their shape ((about 15minutes). Drain.

Cut peppers in half and deseed. Blanch by putting in saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then place in bowl of iced water. Drain after five minutes.

Heat a pan over medium heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and sauté until fragrant. Now, add the zucchini and mushrooms. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture for a few minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add the lentils or rice and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the parsley and re-season if necessary.

Lightly oil a casserole dish. Place the peppers in the casserole dish. Stuff them with the vegetable mixture. Pack it in tight. Cover them with tin foil and bake them for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take the tin foil out and sprinkle the peppers with the topping. Bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Panko Topping
Heat a small pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the Panko bread crumbs and thyme, cook for a few minutes until the Panko bread crumbs are well coated. Remove from heat and add parmesan and parsley, Season with salt and pepper.

For dairy-free option, substitute the Parmesan with lemon zest

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