It has been fun watching the bell peppers grow in size and waiting for our colored bell peppers to start developing color. We were surprised a few weeks ago to see our unusual purple bell peppers were already a deep eggplant purple. They are beautiful.
In honor of our growing crop, I wanted to share one of my family’s favorite recipes. We make this stuffing up in a large quantity and freeze the extra for a quick supper another night.
Stuffed Bell Peppers- Fills 8 Peppers
In a skillet, with one tablespoon of olive oil, saute one medium chopped onion and one chopped bell pepper until they are translucent. While that is sauteing, cut the tops off the bell peppers and clean out the seeds and membranes inside. Boil them until they are beginning to soften. Let these cool and drain while you finish the stuffing. When the peppers and onions have cooked, add in one clove minced garlic and one tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or one teaspoon dried) and cook for one more minute. In a large bowl mix one pound ground beef, two cups cooked brown rice (white rice works, too), the pepper mixture from the skillet, two tablespoons soy sauce, one cup ketchup, and one tablespoon salt. When this is thoroughly mixed, place your peppers in a baking dish and drizzle a little olive oil over them. Stuff each pepper to the top. Top the peppers with a sauce made from two cups ketchup, four tablespoons soy sauce, and a splash or two of hot sauce if you like a little heat. Bake the peppers at 350 degrees for one hour. They are finished when the internal temperature is 150 degrees.
If you want to make extra, double the stuffing ingredients and freeze half of it. Just thaw the stuffing, boil your peppers, and make your topping sauce when you are ready for an easy meal.
Often the fodder for jokes due to its abundance, squash is an incredible gift of summer. High in anti-oxidants, it partners perfectly with the summer sun, helping repair damage from sun exposure. It is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A, but is also packed with other lesser know antioxidant nutrients. The B vitamins squash contains help regulate blood sugar and can help manage or treat diabetes. Squash is a natural anti-inflammatory food especially helpful for the cardiovascular system and the GI tract. The seeds also help protect against microbes, parasites, and can benefit the prostate gland. WOW! This is one powerhouse of a healthy food!
Consider trying this recipe as you eat yourself healthy this summer.
Summer Squash Soup with Basil
Recipe Courtesy of Curtis AikensIngredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds zucchini, crookneck or pattypan squash, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups Summer Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup julienned basil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Sour cream or plain yogurt as an accompaniment
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, add zucchini and onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and zucchini is crisp tender. Then add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover and cook for 25 minutes. Add basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Mix the butter and flour together into a paste. Remove 1 cup of simmering stock and whisk in butter mixture until smooth. Add back into soup, stir until thickened. Remove soup from heat to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
One of our CSA members, Sandi, shared this link for stuffed patty pan squash. If you are near Calera tomorrow between 3-6 pm you could pick up some patty pan for dinner.
Our peach orchard has been voted best place to raise a family by this sweet bird. She has several babies in the nest and was very patient as Micah picked around her.
Tonight we are having stuffed zucchini to go with our hamburgers. I read several recipes online and decided to use what I had on hand to make my own recipe. I started by cutting the zucchini in half an gently scooping out the middles. I put the shells in a baking dish and the insides went into a pan with one cup of spaghetti sauce, one of our small onions, a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of salt, and a handful of frozen cranberries that I thought would add some interest, but are not necessary. After boiling this mixture until the zucchini was soft, I used my hand blender to puree it. While it cooked I toasted 2 slices of buttered bread and threw them into my chopper along with a small handful of basil leaves from last week’s CSA box. After chopping this into fine pieces I folded it into the tomato mixture and stirred in one egg (whipped in a separate bowl). This mixture went into the zucchini boats, they were sprinkled with gouda cheese, drizzled with olive oil and baked at 350 degrees until bubbly and until the cheese was slightly browned. I used two large zucchini, but the stuffing would have been enough for three large or around 6 small.
Yesterday morning as I drove up to the farm I realized the beautiful rainbow I had been enjoying on the trip ended just over our main vegetable field. It is such a beautiful reminder of God’s bountiful love for us.
Here is a great recipe we were able to enjoy thanks to a friend of the farm. You can use either swiss chard or kale in it.
1 lb Italian sausage (I like mild sausage)
2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
Brown sausage in your soup pot.
Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in a separate pot.
Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
Add sausage and bacon.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Turn to low heat.
Add kale and cream.
Heat through and serve.