Stuffed Peppers and Aubergines

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Great vegetarian main dish!

During the holiday season you want to be able to serve a great main dish to your vegetarian guests that’s not just everyone else’s side dishes.

Well here to the rescue with this fantastic vegetarian main course. You can prepare it a day ahead and cook it in the oven on the day itself. Leaving you plenty of time to pour those drinks and catch up with your friends and family.

And we both know that it doesn’t have to be Christmas to serve these delicious stuffed vegetables, how about meatless Monday?

How about your new years resolutions? Has anyone started thinking about them? I have thought of a few, I want to start running more (ehem) I want to start running.

I walk a lot though. I bought a step counter thingy, ok let me look that up…..so, a pedometer and ever since I got it I have walked more and more, it’s almost like a curse. Now when I need to get cream for instance like yesterday evening, all of sudden it occurred to me that I had to make caramel for my daughters cake, I will walk , normally I would take my bike or car, but now I do walk everywhere. I think I probably walk about 8000 steps a day, which isn’t enough it should be 10.000 they say but hey, I’m moving.

And of course another good resolution would be to eat less meat. I think twice a week is more than enough. I already do that but my daughter for instance is such carnivore.She would have spare ribs for breakfast if she could.

So, give this a try and let me know if you miss the beef? I bet you won’t.

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Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side

Ingredients.

2 Aubergines

2 red peppers

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 garlic, peeled and grated

1 pack of Quorn mince or vegetarian mince, 340 grs. / 12 oz.

2 cups cooked spelt or brown rice

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. agave or honey

1 tbsp. flour

1 cup vegetable stock

a handful parsley, chopped

2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 cup grated cheese like cheddar or gouda or vegan substitute

salt and pepper

Bechamel sauce;

4 tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup flour

2 cups soy milk

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Method;

Pre heat oven to 200° / 390°

Wash all the vegetables, dry them and cut them in half. Cut the core and seeds out of the peppers leaving the stalk on. I actually try to cut the stalk in half too so everyone gets a bit of green.

Remove the flesh from the aubergine leaving about a quarter inch of the sides.

Cut up the flesh.

Put a large frying pan on the heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the onion and garlic until beginning to colour. Add the aubergine and celery and add the other tablespoon of oil. Season with the Cajun seasoning and cook for about 15 minutes until the aubergine is soft.

Add the quorn and spelt and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sweetener. Cook for an other minute.

Add the tablespoon of flour and cook for a minute or two. Add a cup of stock and stir around, it should be getting a little  thick, the idea is to bind the filling a little bit so it holds better in the vegetables. Fill the peppers and aubergine halves and place them in a baking tray that has been covered with parchment paper.

To make the bechamel sauce;

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat.

Add the flour and whisk into the oil until smooth.
Cook  for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and changes to a lighter colour.
Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to stop lumps forming.
Cook for at least five minutes so the flour is  fully cooked.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the filled vegetables. and cover with aluminum foil, place on a rack in the middle of the oven.  After 30 minutes remove the foil and sprinkle generously with the grated cheddar. Return to the oven for additional 20-30 minutes.
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 If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoon on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Nasi Goreng, my way

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Nasi Goreng is a very popular Indonesian dish. Nasi means rice and Goreng means fried.
It can be served as a complete meal or as part of  a “Rijsttafel”  (Rice table).
A Rijsttafel is made up out of many different small dishes with different textures and flavors and is mostly served at special occasions.
In The Netherlands we love Indonesian food and the great thing is that you can make this dish in about half an hour. You can also serve it with  Chicken Saté (Saté Ajam)
To me this is comfort food at its best. My daughter likes to eat the rice with the prawn crackers instead of a spoon, kids…haha.
Nasi is originally a dish made with leftovers. The rice has to be cooked and cooled so it won’t stick and any leftover vegetables, meat, shrimp and ham can be added.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp.  Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or Arachis oil

5 oz. chicken breast

1 tsp. Soy sauce

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 tsp. Sambal Oelek paste, or 1 red chili finely chopped (de-seed if you want).

½ onion, peeled and diced  small

1 small Leek, washed thoroughly and sliced thin

1 small red bell pepper, diced small

1 C. shredded cabbage (optional)

1 small carrot, peeled and roughly grated or tiny dice

4 oz. diced cooked ham

2 – 3 tsp. Boemboe Sate (see recipe  Chicken Sate )

3 tbsp. Ketjap Manis

4 C. cooked long grain rice, cooled

To serve
    • 4 fried eggs
    • 1 sliced scallion
    • Fried shallots, store bought
    • Cucumber slices or sticks
    • Krupuk (prawn crackers)
    • Seroendeng (fried dried coconut and peanuts, spiced)
    • Sate sauce and chicken sate (optional)

Method:

First thing to do is to cut the chicken in small dice and marinate in 1 tbsp. of Ketjap Manis and 1 tsp. of Soy sauce while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Now heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat and cook garlic and chili until fragrant, remove to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the wok and add the chicken. Cook until brown and cooked through. Remove from skillet and transfer to the plate with the garlic and chili.

Add the onion to the wok. Cook  until translucent. Turn the heat to high.

Add the rest of the vegetables, the ham and the boemboe Sate. Return the chicken, garlic and chili to the wok as well.

Add rice and fry, breaking up the rice then add the sambal and more Ketjap Manis

Transfer rice to a serving platter. Sprinkle with scallions.

Fry the eggs, sunny side up, or to your liking.

Serve the rice with a fried egg on top and add garnishes.

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