Shoot me if this is a horrible comparison, but green bell peppers remind me of toads in a way. Bumpy, kinda awkward, green…
So the other day three of my little cousins came running to the house in search of a bucket. After contenting themselves with an old Blue Bunny ice cream container, they went out back to where my grandma’s pond is and proceeded to catch as many toads as possible. The dexterity of those little hands amazed me.
There were more than it seems in the picture. There were TONS of them in there, I swear.
Just look at these smiling faces. My cousins are just the cutest, most talented toad-catchers out there.
But toads on the farm aren’t only good for catching. At night the critters make so much racket; you go into the backyard and can hardly hear yourself think. My grandma considers it the music of the farm; I think it has a nice sort of ambience, as long as my room is far enough away that the croaking is just a dull roar.
So in honor of the toads, I made a toadish dinner. In reality, it borders on Mexican, but we can be a little more imaginative than that.
Mmmm, there’s nothing quite so good as a dish loaded with fresh veggies, lentils, and real mozzarella.
Lentil Stuffed Bell Peppers
2 green peppers
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1 small zucchini
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomatoes
fresh basil and parsley
cumin, paprika, oregano, chili pepper to taste
salt to taste
fresh mozzarella for topping
1. Cook lentils and rice.
2. Sautee onion, garlic, and carrots. When tender, add can of tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, herbs and spices, and the lentil-rice mixture. Let simmer for 5 or so minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the green peppers in half and fill them with lentil mixture until overflowing. Top with fresh mozzarella and bake in oven until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.
I served them with sweet potato fries. The lentils could also probably be substituted for ground beef but it definitely would not be as delectable. Life is good as a vegetarian 🙂