I love the fact that you can combine rice, meat, cheese and vegetables into one little, edible package. Sometimes I’ve used a combination of red, yellow and green peppers for colour. I’ve also stuffed sweet long peppers with sausage meat for a more elegant presentation. Either way you will have a reliable and tasty hit on your hands every time 🏆
🍐 PREP: 30 min
🍐 COOKING: Approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees (or until peppers are soft)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
- Olive oil (for pan & and top of peppers)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 can (398 ml) plum tomatoes, crushed
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper flakes, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 6 green peppers, medium size
- Chop your onions and garlic and then place in oiled frying pan. Sauté for a couple minutes.
- Add ground meat and brown for a few minutes. While the meat is cooking add tomatoes, spices and cheese. Reserve 1 cup of mozzarella for later use.
- Prepare your green peppers by cutting off the tops (1/2 inch thick) and carving out the seeds and white membrane. Place upright in large casserole dish.
- Chop up the green part of the pepper tops and add to ground beef, along with cooked rice. Continue to cook the meat & rice mixture for a few more minutes.
- Then stuff the green peppers with this mixture and sprinkle on a bit more mozzarella and oregano on the top.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the stuffed peppers. Cook until soft and bubbly. Keep covered until last 15 min or so.
🍐 TIP: If you like make-ahead meals, stuffed peppers can be stored in fridge for use the next day. Just make sure the ground beef is well cooked on the stove top.
The reason I love this eggplant dish so much is because it tastes like you are indulging when in fact it’s a healthy, vegetarian dish. That’s right no meat, but yet full of flavour and texture! This is another great make-ahead dish that is simple and affordable.
PREP TIME: 20 min
COOKING TIME: 1hr @ 350 degrees F
- 2 large *eggplants, peeled and sliced.
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 x 300g container of plain bread crumbs
- 2 x 650 ml jars of your favorite tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp of basil
- 1 Tbsp of oregano
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Peel eggplants and cut into slices, 1/2 cm in thickness.
- Prepare 9 x 13 inch baking dish by adding couple of tablespoons of sauce to bottom of dish to lightly cover.
- Break eggs into a bowl, whisk together and set aside.
- Place breadcrumbs in shallow dish.
- Dip eggplant slices into egg mixture and then into breadcrumbs, coating both sides one slice at a time.
- Layer prepared eggplant slices into baking dish, approximately 12 slices. Lightly cover eggplant with cheeses, spices and sauce and repeat this step until three layers are formed. Try to end with a topping of sauce and mozzarella.
- Bake in preheated oven until sides are bubbly and cheese is gooey, approx one hour.
🍐 *TIP: There are many eggplant varieties but for this recipe I suggest the Italian eggplant which is pear shape and dark purple in colour.
The saying “anything wrapped in bacon is good” was never more true than with this side dish/appetizer. This is a great way to BBQ asparagus and make something so simple look elegant. Pairs nicely with fish or meat. Wrap one asparagus spear with a prosciutto slice or wrap 2-3 thin spears together.
Prep: 5 min
BBQ: 10 min
- Prosciutto (Italian ham), several slices
- Asparagus bunch
- Wash and prepare asparagus. Hold both ends of an asparagus spear and gently bend until it snaps into two. Discard the woody bottom end.
- Loosely wrap asparagus with prosciutto so that stem is mostly covered.
- Place on bbq and cook until vegetable is tender and prosciutto is crispy.
I used my indoor grill and it worked beautifully.
Zucchini boats make an excellent vegetable side dish and can be cooked on the BBQ or in the oven. Super easy to make and a great use of the endless supply of this summer Squash.😀🤪😋
PREP TIME: 10 min
BBQ TIME: 20 min
- 3 small Zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Balsamic Reduction
- 1 Tsp Basil Pesto
- Black Pepper, Basil, Oregano, to taste
- Cut Zucchini in half. Scoop out some of the membrane, carving out space for the filling.
- In a separate bowl, mix together Cheese, Spices, Pesto, Garlic, Balsamic Reduction and Oil.
- Add mixture to carved out Zucchini shells.
- Barbeque stuffed Zucchini for approximately 20 min to soften outer shell.
- Just before serving, drizzle Balsamic Reduction on top for garnish (optional).
🍐 MANGIA! (serves 3-4)
Bruschetta is like a taste of Italy. The flavours of garlic, basil, tomato and prosciutto all melt together to make this appetizer unforgettable and irresistible.
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
⚠️ Warning: one piece is never enough.
- 1 Baguette
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Heads of Garlic
- Basil Pesto (homemade or store bought)
- 6 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Pepper, Salt & Basil to taste
- Prochutto slices (Italian ham)
- Balsamic Reduction (also available in stores)
- Cut Baguette diagonally, with desired thickness and spread on thin layer of olive oil with brush.
- Bake bread in oven for few minutes (don’t walk away) until light golden brown in colour.
- Cut off top of garlic so pieces are slightly exposed. Lightly brush with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast at 400 degrees for aproximately 30 min.
- Once fully roasted, squeeze out garlic paste and spread a thin layer onto toasted bread.
- Then spread on a thin layer of pesto.
- Chop tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Drizzle in oil and vinegar, keeping in mind a 2:1 ratio.
- Add pinch of salt, basil and pepper to tomato mix.
- Spoon tomato mixture (& juices) onto bread pieces.
- Top with one slice of prochutto (optional).
- Drizzle balsalmic reduction onto your creation just before serving.
🍐 MANGIA! (Appetizer for small group)