Halloween is really all about the treats, I know. But couldn’t we change it up a bit—add some nutrient-rich, creative, fun dinners to the mix this season? Sure, we can. Let’s start with these Lentil-Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Peppers, and for dessert you can try Almond Crunch Caramel Candy Bar, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Socca. In the morning, try some Pumpkin Pancakes or any of these other tasty Halloween-inspired goodies…
Z-Acto knife or
Sharp paring knife
Unbleached parchment paper
Large glass baking dish
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 cup dry lentils
7-8 large bell peppers (you can choose any color you like)
1 tsp unrefined coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced small
1 cup fresh corn kernels (you can use frozen)
1 medium tomato, seeds removed and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seed, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped fine
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (feel free to add more to taste if you like more heat, or leave it out if the kiddos aren’t a fan)
2 tsp fine ground sea salt, or more to taste
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
Let’s get started.
Soak dry lentils in a bowl filled with pure water overnight.
Rinse lentils and prepare them according to the instructions in this post. While they cook, wash and dry your peppers. Set aside 1 pepper for dicing/filling—remove seeds and ribs from this pepper.
Using X-Acto blade, slice off the top of the first pepper. Twist and lift off the top.
Using blade, or paring knife, carefully remove the seeds and ribs (bottom left) from top and bottom sections of pepper (bottom, right).
Now you can carve some eyes and a mouth.
Repeat these steps, with all of your peppers and set aside.
Remove corn from cob with Chef’s knife—for extra deliciousness, try to get the “milk” from the cob, too. Dice one pepper, onion, zucchini and tomato. Prepare your herbs and garlic.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place coconut oil in skillet, and sauté onion and pepper for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook for another 4 minutes. Add tomato and corn and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients, including cooked lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon filling into peppers—to the top.
Place lids back on peppers and place them into a glass baking dish lined with unbleached parchment paper.
Bake for for 25 minutes.
Serve, smile and enjoy!
Store extras in a covered dish in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 300°F until warm—about 10 to 15 minutes.
Happy Halloween, YU!
X-Acto blades are fun for carving pumpkins, too. We used a drill for those perfect beady eyes…
Adaptations & Tips:
1. You could easily sneak some kale into this recipe. Just remove stems and chop about 3 large leaves and fold into veggies and lentils at the very end. Then scoop onto peppers and bake.
2. You can always prepare these for dinner beyond Halloween. Try with green or red peppers, too—may be fun for Christmas with that color scheme.
3. This recipe is delicious with added cooked quinoa or buckwheat—you can also use these ingredients instead of lentils in equal amounts. Experiment!
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