I have a confession to make: I'm not a foodie.
At least I don't classify myself as one. I imagine a foodie to be someone who eagerly samples new, foreign foods, who experiments with the wildest ingredients, and who will taste just about anything. Someone liker her, perhaps. Melinda, you are a trooper.
I am so far from that. I grew up being a picky eater, and until today I have a list of things I will not eat because I simply don't like them. This list is long enough for me to comfortably say I'm a faux foodie. Though this list has gotten shorter over the years.
However, in my defense, I do love food. I love trying new recipes, new flavors, and new textures. They just need to fit within my food preferences. Yes, I make a terrible dinner guest, but don't worry I'll try any dessert, to leave things on a sweet note.
Growing up, my mother made these stuffed zucchinis and bell peppers often. But I, of course, did not eat things that were "stuffed". I might have been coerced to try it once or twice but that was the end of our acquaintance.
Since I started cooking myself, my taste has changed and I like things that I previously would never have eaten. Like these stuffed things.
I probably reacquainted myself with this dish when my mother-in-law (or sister-in-law) made it for a holiday a few years ago. I had tasted it, you know, to be polite. And I surprised myself by taking seconds. I liked the sweet taste of the bell pepper against the pillowy spiced rice and meat mixture. It was such a perfect blend of flavors and an easy one-pot meal.
Of course, I put in my request when my mother was here a few months ago and I am excited to share her recipe with you. I hope you'll try it!
On a different note, I've been quite silent around here the past few months. Life is full and hectic and little ones keep me away from creating and photographing recipes. I love it here and I'll try to be back as much as I can. I hope to come back with some amazing summer recipes. Hope you'll stick around.
zucchini and bell pepper stuffed with meat and rice
1lb ground chicken
1.5 cups raw basmati rice
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons fresh parsely, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 onion grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large bell peppers or 8 small ones, cored
4 zucchinis, cored
3 cups boiled water
1 14oz. can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing and fill the bell peppers and zucchinis. In a wide pan, heat the oil on medium heat and sautee the garlic until translucent. Add the tomato sauce, paste, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir frequently and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Place the bell peppers and zucchinis in the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes, basting frequently, about every 5-7 minutes.