This is a sponsored post. We are excited to be working with Canadian Lentils and Half Your Plate in this #LentilsLoveVeggies campaign! All opinions are always our own and lentils and veggies are always Nonna Approved!
You may recall in an earlier post about Nonna’s lentil soup that as a child Nonna Pina, like most children in Italy at the time, were told to eat their lentils so they would stay healthy. Well, Nonna knows best because as we now know, lentils are loaded with important nutrients, are high in fibre and iron, serve as a great source of protein and are low in fat! What other reason do you need to give lentils a try?
Did you know that this “nutritional powerhouse” is grown right here in Canada? We are now the world’s largest exporter of lentils!
With 2016 being declared, International Year of the Pulses (pulses are the edible seeds of legumes), we have seen an explosion of recipes featuring lentils as awareness of this pulse is increasing and people are looking for healthier and affordable alternatives they can easily prepare for their families. This historically treasured legume is back and here to stay!
Nonna’s Way aims to showcase Italian recipes straight from Nonna’s Kitchen where lentils have always had a place. Typically Nonnas will use lentils in soup dishes and stuff peppers with a meat and rice mixture. Our mission was to make a meatless stuffed pepper that would have people fighting over the last forkful and leave even a seasoned Nonna asking for the recipe! We think we’ve nailed it! You’re going to love these lentil and farro stuffed peppers as much as our families do. The cheese mixture is perfect with the artichokes and adds a delectable creaminess to the dish!
As a bonus, peppers are an amazing source of Vitamin C, readily available and very affordable. On that note, the Half your Plate initiative aims to provide easy and tasty ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals. Just make it a point to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit all the time for a healthier you!
A quick note when making this. Mix the cheeses and yogurt together until well combined then add in the lentil/farro mixture so as not to mush up the lentils.
If you have any of the pepper stuffing left, don’t throw it out! Consider it the cook’s treat:) It is yummy all on it’s own!
In case you’ve been skeptical to try lentils don’t because they are easy to prepare and you can incorporate them into so many recipes you already enjoy including breakfast and even desserts! Furthermore, lentils are delicious on their own but work well with any flavor you throw at them so you can add an amazing healthy component to your meals without compromising taste.
TIP: There’s no need to soak dried lentils. A little rinse before cooking is sufficient to remove any debris. They will double and sometimes triple in size so use 3 cups water to 1 cup dried lentils. Also, do not salt lentils untill after they are cooked or they will become tough. For added flavour you can also try using a broth instead of water.
It’s easy to cook plenty at once and add them to your meals throughout the week. They store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months.
For more information on lentils and plenty more lentil and vegetable recipes please visit lentils.ca and halfyourplate.ca.
Artichoke, asiago cheese mixed with light cream cheese and no-fat plain greek yogurt are used to make this creamy and rich tasting but healthy lentil dish.
- 1 cup dry green lentils (yields 2.5 cups cooked)
- 75gm farro (yields approximately 1 cup cooked)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup (60ml) zero-fat plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup (125ml) marinated artichokes, chopped
- 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt and extra to season the peppers
- 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) hot chili flakes (optional)
- 4 tsp (20ml) fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (125ml) grated Asiago cheese, to be mixed in
- 4 small bell peppers, preferably red and yellow
- 1/4 cup (60ml) grated Asiago cheese, to melt on top
- 2 tsp (10ml) fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Rinse lentils with fresh water before cooking.
- Bring 3 cups of water and 1 cup dry lentils to a boil in a pot large enough allow the lentils double or triple in size. Cover, lower the heat and allow to simmer until just tender. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the farro according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Combine 2 cups of the cooked lentils and 1 cup of the cooked farro in a large bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the cream cheese and yogurt and mix until well blended.
- Add the artichokes, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, chili flakes,4 tsp parsley and 1/2 cup asiago cheese and stir to combine.
- Add the lentil/farro mixture to the cheese mixture and gently combine to mix well.
- Wash and dry the bell peppers.
- Carefully cut around the top of the pepper to remove the stem.
- Remove the seeds and white veins without tearing the pepper.
- Lightly season the insides of the peppers with salt.
- Fill each pepper with a 1/4 of the stuffing mixture.
- Place on a lightly greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top each pepper with 1 tablespoon grated asiago cheese.
- Return to then oven for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and top each pepper with 1/2 tsp of the parsley.
- Serve hot.
- To add even more vegetables try adding 1/3 cup chopped fresh spinach per pepper.
- Serving Size: 4