Couscous And Veggie-Stuffed Peppers

This is another one of those recipes that I knew I'd be making as soon as I saw it. You may know that I love Israeli couscous from past posts -- I've shared one recipe with parsley and shallots and another with spinach and tomatoes. It's so versatile.

This dish -- couscous stuffed peppers -- comes from the blog Charlestown Culinary, which I recently started reading.

Green peppers are stuffed with a mixture of thyme and vegetables -- carrots, onions, garlic, summer squash, and celery -- Israeli couscous, and parmesan cheese and then baked in the oven.

I followed Charlestown Culinary's recipe, making a few small changes as I went.

First, instead of cutting the tops off of the peppers, I split them in half and cleaned out the seeds. This way I ended up with four stuffed pepper halves instead of two big stuffed peppers. I intended to take these peppers for lunch this week and thought a half, along with some pita chips and hummus, would be the perfect amount.

Then instead of cooking my couscous and steaming the peppers in the same pan once the couscous finished cooking, I steamed the peppers in another pan, removed them and dumped out the water, and then sauteed my veggies in that pan. By doing this, I didn't have to spend any time waiting for the couscous to cook. The peppers were sitting pretty, waiting to be filled...

...and the veggies and couscous were done at the same time.

At that point all it takes to finish the filling is mixing the veggies and couscous together, adding in some parmesan cheese, and seasoning with salt and pepper (I skipped the Tabasco). I tried to neatly stuff each pepper with the slightly sticky couscous and veggie mixture, and then I popped the tray in the oven.

I ended up with a lot of extra filling, about enough to have filled one more pepper. But that's okay because it's tasty enough to eat on its own too!

These were the perfect size for lunch and held up well in the microwave. There aren't many things I enjoy after the microwave has had its way with them, but veggies are usually a safe bet. The peppers stay soft and the couscous pearls have that nice, chewy texture.

And while I didn't calculate any nutrition data, I'm sure all those veggies have to be good for me! I can definitely see myself making this again, maybe with some zucchini and tomatoes too.