Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stuffed Spanish Pimientos Del Piquillo with Tomato Mushroom Almond Sauce

I am working on a cancer fundraiser here in Mallorca this summer.  We are looking for a location for this event and visited a olive oil producer the other day.  As we were walking through his olive trees we started talking about olive oil, diet and heath.  He said the typical spanish saying of "vegetables are for rabbits and meat is for me" as he took a drag off of his cigarette.  He then went on to say something that you always hear either in the states or europe or I think just about anywhere.  And that is,"while I am alive I will eat and drink what I want even if I die young" and then he added,"death is the one sure thing in life".  It sounds great (well not that great) and maybe won't be that bad if all of the sudden you drop dead and die.  But the majority of the times its not quite that perfect.  Maybe you have a stroke and you turn into a 10 year old child mentally who can't talk anymore and has lost control of half your body but sadly you realize what has happened.  And now your children need to take care of you if your lucky.  If not your put in a home at 60 and they will take care of you.  Or alzheimer's starts kicking in little by little and again you'll be taken care of at home or in a home.  Their are many more examples of this but I think you get the point. Your family will be deeply sadden but at least you ate and drank whatever you wanted to and now for the next 10, 15 or even 20 years are going to go by real, real slow.
I am almost 50 and I want the second half of my life to be just as good if not better than the first half and if I need to cut back on this and that to increase my odds of having a healthy future then I'm game.  And the funny thing is that it isn't that hard.  Just eat whole foods and exercise.  That's it!  Spend the time learning about whole grain foods, vegetables and other healthy alternatives to animal proteins.
If we promote good health for ourselves we promote a healthy planet.   If we consume a plant based diet, we will use less water, use less land, use fewer resources and produce less pollution and less suffering for our animals.  Together we can make a better world for ourselves and mother earth just by eating healthier.
And one fantastic way to eat healthier is to dive into the spanish delight I made the other night.

the filling


the sauce


a little green added

on the table

Stuffed Spanish Pimientos Del Piquillo with Tomato Mushroom Almond Sauce
by Jeff Harter
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: bake saute appetizer gluten-free low-carb low-sodium soy-free spelt sugar-free vegan vegetarian spelt

Pimientos Del Piquillo are my favorite red peppers from Spain. They are sweet, spicy and smoked, you couldn't ask more of a pepper.
Ingredients (serves 4)
    Pimientos Del Piquillo
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 medium carrots cut into small dice
    • 1 green pepper cut into small dice
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 cup Spelt (quick cooking)
    • 1 tbsp cumin
    • 1 tbsp turmeric
    • 1 tbsp curry
    • 2 cups water or vegi broth
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
    • zest of 2 lemons
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 pimientos del piquillo
    Tomato Sauce
    • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
    • 1 carrot finely chopped
    • 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced
    • 1 clove garlic minced
    • 1/4 finely chopped raw almonds
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tbsp oregano
    • Salt and white pepper
    • Pimientos Del Piquillo
    • Heat the olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat for 2 minutes.
    • Then add carrots, peppers and cook for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
    • Next add Spelt,garlic, cumin, turmeric and curry and cook for another 5 minutes stirring a lot.
    • Then add water and bring to a simmer and cover with a loose fitting lid or slightly ajar.
    • Cook for about 20 minutes and if to dry before the spelt is tender and a little more water.
    • When the spelt is done scrap into a large bowl and let sit for 15 mins to let cool.
    • Once cool and parsley, lemon zest salt and pepper and mix well.
    • Fill each Pimiento Del Piquillo with the spelt using a small teaspoon.
    • Set aside until ready for use.
    Tomato Sauce
    • In a large sauce pan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Then add the onion and carrots and saute for 10 minutes until soft.
    • Then add the shiitake mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes.
    • Next add almonds and paprika and cook another 5 minutes.
    • Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.
    Final Preparation
    • Preheat oven to 350 F
    • Place 3 peppers in individual oven proof dishes or one large one and pour tomato sauce over the top of the peppers and place in the oven for 1/2 hour or so.
    • Serve nice and hot.

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