Nutrition – Stuffed Capsicums and Chocolate Chickpea Cookies
Stuffed Capsicums (Serves 6)
These are fantastic little all-in-one packages of nutrition! Each capsicum has 1 serve of vegetables, 1 serve of wholegrains and 1 serve of lean meat. They are a great source of fibre, protein and micronutrients. Serve with a side of salad or vegetables for a deliciously balanced lunch or dinner!
500g lean beef mince
2 tsp unsaturated oil
(either olive or vegetable)
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup water or stock
1 cup dry brown rice
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp sage
½ cup slivered almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
6 medium-sized capsicums
- Heat a non-stick pan, add the oil. Fry the onion, carrot and celery for a few minutes, then add the garlic and fry until fragrant and soft.
- Add the beef mince and brown – make sure you break up the clumps of meat so that it cooks evenly and in fine pieces.
- Add the water/stock, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to boil before turning the heat to low and simmering – covered – for approx. 20 minutes to let the flavours develop.
- Bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of dry brown rice to boil, stirring occasionally.
- Lower heat, cover and simmer for around 15 mins.
- Remove from heat and stand, covered for 5 to 10 mins, until all water is absorbed.
- Combine the mince mixture, brown rice, herbs, almonds and lemon juice.
- Cut the tops off the capsicums and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and white membrane.
- Divide the rice and mince mixture evenly among the capsicums.
- Oil a baking dish and place capsicums in, being careful they don’t topple over. Pour a little stock or water over the capsicums to keep them soft.
- Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 180°Cfor 45mins or until capsicum is soft.
!! Vegan/Vegetarian option !!
- Replace the mince with 2 cans of drained red kidney beans and add to the garlic and vegetable mixture in step 1. (Or you could use a faux meat mince).
- Replace the Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce.
(Recipe adapted from eatforhealth.gov.au)
Chocolate Chickpea Cookies (Makes 10)
I was very sceptical of putting chickpeas anywhere near my cookies at first, but after some convincing from friends I tried this recipe, and I have no regrets! Chickpeas add extra fibre, protein and low GI carbohydrates, making this a great post-pole snack.
425g tinned chickpeas
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 – 2 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or sugar.
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup chocolate (dark choc chips; dark choc melts, roughly chopped; or even your favourite block chocolate roughly chopped)
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Combine chia seeds with water and leave to thicken for 5 mins
- Drain chickpeas and rub dry with a clean tea towel or press with paper towel
- Place all ingredients (except for chocolate) in a food processor
- Process for 20 seconds or until smooth
- Stir in chocolate
- On a lined baking tray, place tablespoons of mixture and flatten slightly
- Cook for 30 minutes