Hello and welcome to my little (spoon) blog! I am so excited to share some of my favorite recipes that I’ve developed through tons of trial and error, braving the Sunday lines at Trader Joe’s, and more under-cooked yet somehow burnt banana bread than I’d like to admit. Before we get to the good stuff, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I am a newlywed! My sweet and handsome husband (slash taste tester) Kevin and I were married on the world’s rainiest day last July and yet it was complete perfection.
We live in White Plains, NY and have been blessed with the most wonderful and supportive family and a big, beautiful group of best friends that’s been together since ’00.
I have no professional training – aside from a few cooking classes in Italy – proof of one below. I am completely devoted to Trader Joe’s and absolutely not paid to say so. Before Little Spoon came along, my two best friends and I mused about starting a TJ’s blog featuring our newest discoveries from the freezer isle, sprinkled with some recipe attempts. That never came to fruition, but I will think of this blog fondly as something of a spin-off. I strongly believe that brown butter makes all cookies better and there is absolutely no such thing as too much Parmesan cheese.
What you’ll find here is my take on comfort foods and weeknight favorites that are both accessible and delicious, as well as my attempts to try out some new techniques, which I can assure you will be entertaining. Above all else, this blog is about what I love to do most – COOK! Thank you for taking this journey with me. Shall we?
Portobello, Chicken Sausage, & Farro Stuffed Bell Peppers
Prep time: 30 mins | Bake time: 20 mins | Serves 6
I love bell peppers in just about anything – eggs, stir-fry, salads, you name it, but every once in awhile it’s nice to let them be the center of attention. When it comes to stuffed peppers, I’ve typically remained quite loyal to the Mexican-turkey variety, but then one night as I searched through my fridge for a mid-week dinner option, this recipe came to be.
It’s super hearty and many of the ingredients can easily be substituted for a pantry staple. Par-cooking the peppers helps the meal come together faster and toasting the farro adds a delicious, nutty depth to the filling – don’t skip this step! Best of all, it makes plenty of leftovers to take for lunch or reheat for dinner. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
What you’ll need:
- 6 large bell peppers
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 12 oz. cooked chicken sausage, diced (I used tomato basil, but any kind will work just fine)
- 1 package TJs 10 Minute Farro (or any quick-cooking grain)
- 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp. basil, chopped
- ½ medium red onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large Portobello mushrooms, diced
- 1 cup Trader Joe’s Shaved Cheese Blend (sub shaved Parmesan)
- Salt & pepper to taste
How to make ’em:
Preheat oven to 375°F
Prep your peppers by cutting off the tops, scooping out the seeds and membranes, discarding the stems, and finely chopping the tops. Cut off a bit of the bottom of any stubborn ones that won’t stand up straight. Sprinkle the inside of the peppers with salt and set aside.
Par-cooking the peppers will help them cook faster once you’ve stuffed them and it’s a perfect place for them to hang out until the filing is ready. Pour just enough water, to cover the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and place the prepped peppers inside. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and set aside.
Now on to the farro. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the farro straight from the bag. Toast the farrow for 2 to 3 minutes until its golden and fragrant. While the farro is toasting away, add the chicken broth to a small pot with the diced onion, parsley, salt and bring it to a boil.
Add toasted farrow to the broth, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer for 15 minutes (the bag instructions will say 10 mins, but I’ve found it needs a few more to really soak up that yummy broth).
Make the rest of your filling by adding another 2 tbsp.olive oil back into your large saucepan and cook the chopped pepper tops and mushrooms over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Season with salt, add in chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Add your diced chicken sausage, chopped baby spinach and give everything a big toss.
Once the farro has cooked pop the lid off, give it a stir, and add it to your saucepan with the rest of your filling. Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of your shaved cheese.
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Spoon your glorious filling into the peppers, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes, uncovered until the cheese has melted and the filling is piping hot.
Let cool for 5 minutes and ENJOY! If you have any leftovers, let them cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.