Slow Meat & Meatless Mondays! Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe from Seattle Author Kim O’Donnel

Image via Flickr user Bill Young

Image via Flickr user Bill Young

This post is part of our Fall Blog Blitz! For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you special posts in support of our Slow Food Fall Membership Campaign. Come back often for more recipes, photos, tips, and resources as we celebrate Slow Food in all its forms!

Slow Food membership supports sustainable food production, teaching children how to grow food, preserving traditional foods, and celebrating food cultures. Together we are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment.  There is a place for you at our table here in our local Seattle chapter. Join now

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Meatless CelebrationsAs noted earlier today, Slow Food has kicked off its Slow Meat: Better, Less campaign. One part of the campaign is adding Meatless Monday, already popular nationally, to its five-part program.

We’re happy to see it as there are loads of delicious ways to participate in Meatless Monday! And we’re fortunate here in Seattle to have a great resource for meatless idea for meat fans and vegetarians alike. Author Kim O’Donnel has written two books all about bringing the joys of tasty meatless dishes to dedicated carnivores: The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour and The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations: Year-Round Vegetarian Feasts (You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into).

We’ll be sharing occasional recipes and tips from Kim on the blog, so today enjoy this recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers. And check back often for more! Thanks, Kim!


Meat LoversFrom Kim:

Change is hard! Go easy, take it slow. That’s how my meat-loving husband and I got started six years ago, using Meatless Monday as a model. Rather than completely break up with meat, we took one day off, incremental baby-step bites that helped us create a new normal. One meatless day led to two and three, and what started out as an experiment has become our preferred way of eating. Nearly seven years later, our plant-based suppers outweigh the meaty ones but we still enjoy tearing into a (pastured and preferably locally raised) roast chicken.

Let Mother Nature be your meatless guide; there’s no easier way to get excited about vegetables than to prepare them when they are at their seasonal peak. Case in point: the stuffed bell peppers, below. After a long, warm summer, the Pacific Northwest is enjoying a true harvest of sun-loving crops such as sweet peppers. Get’em before the winter squash push them out the door!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Makes 4 servings

At their peak in late summer and early fall, bell peppers make festive one-dish containers for a mix of seasonal veg and herbs, with nutty grains of quinoa doing a bang-up job as both starchy connector and protein-rich standout. What follows is a mere template for the filling; feel free to play and experiment with what you have on hand. The filling is delicious all by its lonesome, almost a meal unto itself.

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • ½ cup red or beige quinoa, rinsed in sieve, or rice, pearl barley or instant couscous
  • 4 yellow, orange or red bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, without removing stems
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup red onion or shallots, diced
  • ½ fresh chile pepper of choice, seeded and minced (omit for less heat)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 ½ cups fresh (from 2 medium-size ears) or frozen corn kernels, or 1 (15-ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups spinach, washed well, stemmed and roughly chopped, or equal amounts of chard or tender kale, stemmed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, or basil
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled (or queso fresco, ricotta or goat cheese – or no cheese at all)
  • ½ lemon (optional finishing touch)

Here’s What You Do

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil for the quinoa. (The water amounts differ for other starch options; prepare according to package instructions.)

Add a pinch of salt, then add the quinoa. Stir, then cover and simmer over low heat until the grains are tender and begin to look starry and luminescent, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Carefully remove the seeds and membranes of the peppers. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a lively simmer (not a rolling boil). Add the pepper halves (submerge the peppers cut side first) and simmer until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove the peppers and drain any excess water. Transfer to a baking dish for later.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, and chile pepper (if using), and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the garlic, corn, and greens, plus 2 tablespoons of water, and cook until the greens are wilted about 5 minutes.

Stir in the herbs and quinoa and mix everything together until well combined. Taste for salt and pepper, and season as you see fit.

Fill the peppers with the filling and dot with cheese (if using).

Drizzle the remaining oil over the peppers and bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature, squeezing the lemon over the top, if you wish.

Excerpted from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright 2010.

About Kim O’Donnel
For the past 17 years, journalist and chef Kim O’Donnel has dispensed cooking advice at numerous publications, including the Washington Post and USA Today. The first Meatless Monday blogger on record, Kim is a known authority for helping Americans eat more vegetables with her Meat Lover’s Meatless cookbooks. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Kim is the founder of Canning Across America, a collective dedicated to the revival of preserving food.

Slow Meat: Better, Less

Slow MeatThis post is part of our Fall Blog Blitz! For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you special posts in support of our Slow Food Fall Membership Campaign. Come back often for more recipes, photos, tips, and resources as we celebrate Slow Food in all its forms!

Slow Food membership supports sustainable food production, teaching children how to grow food, preserving traditional foods, and celebrating food cultures. Together we are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment.  There is a place for you at our table here in our local Seattle chapter. Join now

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In June of this year, delegates – ranchers, butchers, policy makers, and others – from across the country came together to discuss possibilities for sustainable and humane meat production at the Slow Meat Symposium in Denver.

As a result of the conversations, Slow Food USA has summed up the recommendations as eating BETTER and LESS meat. Here are some highlights from recent Slow Food USA posts on this new initiative.

Eating BETTER MEAT creates:

  • Improved working environment for producers and quality of life for animals
  • More complex and delicious flavors
  • Animal and plant diversity in the field
  • Healthier local food economies

And eating LESS MEAT creates:

  • Opportunities to explore the flavors of vegetables, grains, and culinary traditions from many cultures
  • Resilient ecosystems, less threatened by environmental damage
  • Frugality and inspiration in the kitchen
  • Healthier eaters

As noted in a post on the Slow Food USA blog after the event, “not every delegate immediately supported the idea of encouraging everyone to eat less meat.” But the thinking is that by “reducing the amount of meat people eat [supports] sustainable meat producers by allowing their customers to spend a little bit more for their products. And considering that the vast majority of meat that is sold and bought in this country is industrially produced in unsustainable ways, cutting back meat consumption can reduce the environmental and health risks associated with that production system.”

We’ll be postings more about this Better, Less campaign as each of the five different stages kicks off. For now, we’re bringing some Meatless Monday ideas so stay tuned today for a tasty idea from a local cookbook author!

Slow Meat

 

Sweet & Local: Seattle Sweet Week & A World of Sweets in Washington State

Sweet Week Seattle  Just another WordPress site - Google Chrome 9232014 53802 PMThis post is part of our Fall Blog Blitz! For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you special posts in support of our Slow Food Fall Membership Campaign. Come back often for more recipes, photos, tips, and resources as we celebrate Slow Food in all its forms!

Slow Food membership supports sustainable food production, teaching children how to grow food, preserving traditional foods, and celebrating food cultures. Together we are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to local communities and the environment.  There is a place for you at our table here in our local Seattle chapter. Join now

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Have a sweet tooth? Check out these upcoming events celebrating desserts locally. This month, get to know your local purveyors of treats. Next month, visit our neighbors in Sultan to learn the history and culture of some of the sweets enjoyed by many of us here in Washington state.

September 25-28th: Seattle Sweet Week. “Many of the city’s best bakeries, scoop shops, chocolatiers and pastry chefs are exited to create treats never before made or sold, with creative flavors that will knock your socks off…We hope you join us and support our craft this September for Sweet Week – it’s easy! just head to a participating sweet shop, pick out a treat, pay 5 bucks, share and enjoy!” Includes Cupcake Royale, Sweet Mickey’s, Parfait, The Confectional, Mighty-O Donuts, Hello Robin, High 5 Pie, Theo Chocolate,Flying Apron, Dahlia Bakery, Gelatiamo, Macrina Bakery, A La Mode Pies,Fresh Flours, Full Tilt, and Chocolopolis.

October 25, 2pm: A World of Sweets in Washington State at the Sultan Library. “From bienenstich to bánh xu xê, marzipan to mochi, the diverse range of sweets we enjoy across Washington state reveals much about our shared history and culture. Each of these sweets tells a story: Ingredients illustrate trade routes and trends, recipes record migration patterns and special forms point to special occasions. This mouth-watering and thought-provoking talk will invite us to savor the ways in which sweets show how individuals and communities celebrate, adapt and interact. By showing how our own familiar favorites correspond to and differ from examples in other communities, anthropologist Julia Harrison will encourage a deep level of understanding about the ways in which sweet foods shape our relationships and reveal our priorities. This talk will spur us to make the leap from ‘Yum!’ to ‘Hmm …'”

 

Slow Food Event: Celebrate the Harvest at Oxbow Farm – Tickets on Sale Now

Come join Slow Food for a day on the farm! Celebrate the fall harvest at Oxbow Farm Organic Farm and Education Center.

Located in the Snoqualmie Valley, Oxbow is 25 acre mixed vegetable, tree fruit and berry farm bordering an ‘oxbow’ lake. Oxbow has a mission to “RECONNECT people to the land and our local food supply, and to INSPIRE us to take action in our communities.”

Slow Food has that mission too, so we’re excited to meet up at Oxbow for a fun day at the farm.

We will meet up at 10am for a group intro and chat regarding both Slow Food and Oxbow.

OxbowAt 11am, choose on of the below activities (please note the additional cost paid directly to Oxbow onsite, please bring enough cash for your activity of choice):

1. Learn about the farm, the crops, the river and the native restoration efforts around Oxbow on a hayride with Farmer Luke.  ($1/person or $4/family).
2. Let your kids go on a 6-plant part scavenger hunt through the Kids’Farm fields with Farmer Pat. ($5/child)

We’ll regroup around 12pm for a group lunch. You bring your favorite lunch and reuseable utensils; we’ll bring beverages, treats and other supplies for the group.

After our lunch, feel free to explore Oxbow further on your own!

Tickets are $5/person, $10/family. Children under 5 are free.

 

(Pumpkin image via Wikimedia)

Slow Food Event: Talking Mushrooms with Becky Selengut & Langdon Cook Tickets on Sale Now

shroomSlow Food Seattle: Talking Mushrooms with Becky Selengut & Langdon Cook

Join Slow Food Seattle and local authors and foragers Becky Selengut and Langdon Cook for a conversation on mushrooms: how they get from the forest to your kitchen and what to do once you have them there. We’ll be meeting at the Pike Place Market Elliott Bay Room at 7pm on Monday, November 3.

Becky will be sharing her perspective on foraging, selecting, and cooking mushrooms from her new cookbook Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms.

mushroom_hunters_coverLangdon will speak about foraging, both his personal experience, and his insights from following commercial pickers for his critically acclaimed book The Mushroom Hunters.

Book sales, signing, and shroomy snacks will be available for this fungi-focused event.

Tickets are $12.50 for non-members and $8 for members. Current Slow Food Members: a discount passcode was recently sent out. Please check your email or email us at membership@slowfoodseattle.org!

We’re excited for this unique opportunity to chat with two of our favorite local authors about one of our favorite types of food. Tickets on sale now!

Slow Food Seattle, Socially

Slow Food Seattle on Pinterest - Google Chrome 9232014 65955 PMLooking for more Slow Food? Here are a few places you can find us on social media. We’ve recently added Instagram and Pinterest! We’re especially excited to start sharing more recipes and events on Pinterest, so if you are a fan of that site, please come check us out!