Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year: Edamame and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Like so many people, on January 1st, I vowed to make 2013 a healthy year. But I still want it to be flavorful. I love food. “Butter” was one of my first words. For me, food is more than fuel: it’s creative, it’s community, and it’s delicious. And while I’m heartened by the recent headlines that those who are deemed “overweight” actually have longer life spans than those who are “normal weight”, I also have a trip to St. Maarten booked for this spring, and right now, I can’t imagine donning a bathing suit in front of anyone except the old folks who swim with noodles at my local YMCA.

So I’m cutting most dairy and eliminating most white sugar and flour. Cocktails (or any alcoholic libations) are reserved for weekends. Just over one week in, I’m doing pretty well. The other night, I made these edamame and black bean stuffed peppers. I had planned to use poblanos, but couldn’t find any at my local market, so I used red bell peppers instead, and amped up the spice in the filling. I had frozen shelled edamame, and cooked these in boiling water, along with a few cloves of garlic. I tossed them in the food processor, along with some cilantro, vegetable broth, olive oil and crushed ancho chili.This edamame mash is delicious in its own right, and a great alternative to potatoes. But I wanted to go further with it, so in a small saucepan, I sautéed some onion, garlic and a small diced jalapeño in olive oil, and added to that a can of drained, rinsed black beans. I stirred the edamame mash into the beans, and made sure that everything was evenly dispersed. Then I filled my peppers with the mixture and baked until they were soft, and slightly charred. Serve with a salad for a healthy and flavorful meal!

photoEdamame and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

I used red bell peppers for these, but poblanos or Italian frying peppers would also work well. Adjust the spice level to your preference. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag (12oz) of shelled edamame (soy beans)
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 small handful of cilantro
  • Crushed ancho chili (according to your taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • 1 garlic clove smashed and minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, diced
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cored

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill a medium-large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the edamame and whole garlic cloves. Let cook for five minutes, drain, and place in a food processor. .

In the food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, you can experiment with hand beaters or a hand masher), mix the edamame, cilantro, crushed chili and a generous dash of olive oil. The mixture will be very dense and won’t easily puree. Add a quarter cup of vegetable broth and mix more. Continue to add a little bit of broth and mix until your mash has a good consistency.

Meanwhile, place a saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil and onion. Let cook for a couple of minutes, and add the garlic and jalapeño. Let cook for another minute before adding the black beans and coating with the oil mixture. Stir over medium heat for a minute, or just until the beans are warmed. Stir in the edamame puree. Add salt and additional chili to taste.

Chop the tops off of two large peppers, and remove all of the seeds. Fill the peppers with the edamame-black bean mixture. Place in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and slightly charred. Enjoy!

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