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Moroccan Stuffed Red Peppers / Ras el Hanout

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    All bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, but red bell peppers are chock full of them.

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    2 red bell peppers
    1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (20 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    2 tsp (10 mL) ras el hanout, divided (recipe follows)
    1/2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes
    1 shallot, diced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tomato, diced
    1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked chickpeas
    1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest, finely grated
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) parsley, chopped
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) pine nuts
    Pinch salt
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

    Trim off and reserve tops of peppers. Scoop out seeds. Place peppers on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, until they just start to soften, about 10 minutes. Set aside until cool.

    In medium bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and 1 tsp (5 mL) ras el hanout.

    Toss eggplant in spice mixture until well coated.

    Place eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    In medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté until shallot is soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) ras el hanout. Cook until tomato starts to break down, about 4 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in eggplant, chickpeas, lemon zest, parsley, pine nuts, salt, and black pepper.

    Stuff peppers and arrange in baking dish along with reserved pepper tops. Bake until filling is warmed through, about 25 minutes. Place pepper top over filling and serve warm or at room temperature.

    Serves 2.

    Each serving contains: 292 calories; 11 g protein; 11 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 42 g carbohydrates; 14 g fibre; 309 mg sodium


    Ras el Hanout

    Makes 1/4 cup (60 mL)

    This is a wonderfully versatile spice blend to have on hand when you’re looking to add an exotic touch to your next meal. Sweet, savoury and spicy all at once, it means “head of the shop,” implying that it is a store’s best spice blend.

    2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander 
    1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground cumin 
    1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger 
    1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom 
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper 
    1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric 
    1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice 
    1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon 
    1 tsp (5 mL) sweet Spanish paprika 
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

    In bowl whisk together all ingredients. Store ras el hanout in an airtight container.

    Each serving contains: 5 calories; 0 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 1 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 1 mg sodium

    source: "Be Mine, Vegetarian Valentine", alive #352, February 2012

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    Moroccan Stuffed Red Peppers / Ras el Hanout

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