I love to cook colourful food. According to Nutrition Australia, ‘fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple, orange, green and white/brown. Each colour carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour and of course some of their healthy properties’.
Red fruits and vegetables are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy.
This recipe is healthy and easy to prepare. It makes for a fantastic vegetarian meal or it can be served as a side dish. I’m using brown rice to boost its nutritional value, but you could use white rice or quinoa instead.
MEXICAN RICE STUFFED CAPSICUM
- 4 large red capsicum
- 1 cup of brown rice (cooked)
- 1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup of leeks (or 1 onion), finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of flat leaves parsley
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Cut the tops off of the capsicums and remove the inside seeds. Finely dice the top piece of the capsicum and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the garlic, leek/onion and diced capsicum. Saute until softened, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cooked brown rice and tomato paste to the pan. Stir well to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add black beans and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Remove from heat.
- Place the stuffed capsicums into a baking dish. Spoon the mixture into the capsicums
- Add enough water to fill the pan 1 centimetre up the inside of the dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes.