Monday, November 17, 2008

Polenta Stuffed Bell Peppers

Seeing bell peppers on the expected list of veggies for Wednesday, I decided I better get using the bell peppers which have been multiplying in the fridge. I made a bok choy salad to go with meal to provide some green.

To make the stuffed peppers, I cut 4 bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds but leave the stems on so the peppers hold their shape. Brush the peppers halves inside and out with some olive and sprinkle with salt. Put on a greased cookie sheet and roast in a preheated 450 for 15 minutes (or until they are tender but hold their shape). While the peppers roast, in a heavy saucepan bring 4 c water, and 1/2 t salt to a boil. Add 1 c polenta cornmeal (this is different than regular cornmeal--I bought it in bulk at Central Market and was able to buy less than 2 c worth) in a slow steady stream while whisking. I cooked on medium heat, stirring it often until it was thickened. Stir in 1 1/2 c corn kernels (I omitted this), 1 T butter, 1 c shredded cheddar cheese, and 1/2 c chopped green olives (stuffed with pimentos). Remove from heat. I then stuffed the bell peppers and sprinkled 1/2 c grated cheddar on top of them. I returned them to the oven for 10 minutes. I put part of the polenta in a separate bowl and baked it for M and J. While that baked, in a saucepan I combined a jar of salsa (16-oz), a can of black beans (15-oz) and 1/4 c chopped cilantro and simmered. To serve, I topped the peppers with the black bean/salsa mixture.

I was pleased. J loved it, he didn't eat the peppers, but thought the polenta was good. He ate a couple of servings. I realized as I watched him eat it exactly how nutrition poor eating just polenta is. M ate bok choy salad for the first time. I had to fight her for the last little bit. What a switch from the last month where she wouldn't even consider eating any salad. It's a start! She wasn't too sure about the polenta, but she did eat some, although rather guarded. Curtis and I both liked it, which was also pretty good because we had mixed opinions on polenta in the past. I think making our own for change improved our opinions considerably.

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