I’m calling on all my spicy food lovers out there. These stuffed peppers are for you! They are spicy, without stripping your taste buds, chewy, and loaded with good for your soul ingredients such a farro, mushrooms and collard greens.
Now, here’s a few fun facts about me and where these peppers get their inspiration…
My husband Chris and I started dating around the time of my birthday, which is in early December. Around that time, is also when I do a retrospect of my year. I look at what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve failed at, what goals I get to scratch off my list and what goals still need to be crushed. I look at the good and the bad and reflect on it. I also make a list of 3 (yes, 3, which sounds like a fair number: not too many, not too few) resolutions for the year to come (why wait until January 1st!). I also write down the steps I think I need to take to get to where I wanna go. It’s also a time where I reflect on how I feel about my life in general and what needs to be changed, added or deleted!
One of the things I knew needed to be added to my resolution list was taking more time for myself. Even though I didn’t feel burned out, I knew I couldn’t keep up this pace. So I decided this new resolution was going to start off with a bang. It was going to start with a beach vacation. Now this may not seem like such a bang for some, but this was going to be my first real vacation in over 5 years! Since I traveled quite extensively for work, and I never really took time off of work, a beach vacation sounded like an extravagant luxury for me. And I was going to go for it…
Needless to say, when I told Chris about my resolution to take a relaxing beach vacation, he suggested we go together to his favourite place: Jamaica. Jamaica was the last place I had vacationed, 5 years earlier, so I thought it was a great idea to pick up where I left off.
Jamaica did not disappoint! It was everything I needed it to be and then some. And the food…the food was simply scrumptious! Our favourite thing to eat came from this food cart that was pushed around the resort, from 11am to 11pm with the most amazing jerk spiced food ever! The sauce was dark and thick and spicy. But not the kind of spicy where you can’t feel your tongue or taste buds for days. The kind of spicy that made your mouth water with delight. Yes, it was that good! Chris and I would eagerly wait by the beach for the food cart to roll around and would unapolagicoly pounce on it as it made it’s way to us. We would take our paper plates back to our beach chairs and devour what ever was on it, licking our fingers between every bite… My mouth is watering at the recollection as I’m writing this.
So that’s where these peppers come from! They come from the recollection of that food cart and it’s jerk sauce.
If you’ve been to Jamaica, I hope these peppers bring back some wonderful memories. If you haven’t been, close your eyes as you eat these and picture yourself on a beach with some soft reggae music playing in the background. Trust me, you’ll almost feel like you are there!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them.
Leave me a comment to tell me what recipe you make that’s inspired by your travels or what tradition you have around your birthday.
- For the jerk sauce
- 1/2 Cup ground allspice berries
- 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
- 8 garlic cloves
- 2 to 4 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and cored
- 2 Tbs thyme, ground
- 10 green onions
- 1 Tbs ginger, fresh
- 1 Tbs cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 Tbs nutmeg, ground
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbs red palm oil
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs coconut seasoning (similar to soy sauce)
- For the stuffed peppers
- 4 peppers, seeded and cut in half, length wise
- 1 Cup farro
- 2 1/2 Cups water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 6 collard green stalks, ribs removed and chopped
- 1 Cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Chive for presentation
- For the jerk spice mix, add everything to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- For the stuffed peppers.
- Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.
- In a medium size pot, bring 21/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and farro.
- Reduce to medium heat and cook for 25-30 minutes. (make your jerk spice mix during this time).
- In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped collard greens and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Oil the bottom of an iron skillet or oven safe dish and place the pepper halves.
- When the farro is cooked, add to the vegetable mix and stir to combine.
- Add 1 Tbs of jerk sauce and adjust to taste.
- Spoon the mixture evenly between the peppers.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool at least 5 minutes and decorate with a little chive.