Red Pepper Stuffed with Bulgur and Mung Beans


Red Pepper Stuffed with Bulgur and Mung Beans

As the autumn made its presence felt by all of us, the harlequin summer spirit is leaving its sacred place to “autumn blues” which reduces our vitality. Medical specialists call it as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD – the most self-explanatory abbreviation I have come across up to now-) and it is mainly caused by a problem in certain brain chemicals and hormones associated with descending exposure to daylight. If your mood is low for most of the day, you sleep more than usual and crave carbohydrates and sweets that means you are probably having winter blues (or let say mildly SAD in medical terms). After devouring a large box full of chocolate covered delights in a few days (in general I am not really fond of it) and start falling asleep every night before ten o’clock (normally I sleep barely 6 hours a night) I should admit being on the verge of SAD especially.

Red Pepper

If you feel in the same way too, do not worry. There are also some suggestions from the experts to overcome this unpleasant situation such as; trying to spend at least fifteen minutes outdoors during the daylight hours, using full-spectrum light bulbs for your home and office, sitting near windows when you are inside, exercising and eating a well balanced diet. I will do my best to follow these recommendations and already started to balance my chocolate covered delight diet with a new recipe containing a healthy pulse; mung beans (in Turkey we call it as mash bean).

Mung Bean

Mung beans are mainly cultivated in the Asian countries like China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and India. Even though I used it with bulgur to stuff red peppers in my recipe, residents of these countries are using mung bean as an ingredient for specific desserts. To my surprise in East China they make a paste out of mung beans to be used as the filling for their famous mooncakes. In many Asian countries mung bean ice cream and frozen ice pops are also well known. Mung bean starch is also the main ingredient of cellophane noodles. (Also remember the transparent sheets used for spring rolls; it’s the same thing with a different form)

Now it’s time to dissipate the autumn blues starting from the healthy diet part. Get in your kitchen and try this delicious and nutritious as well recipe to forget about your low mood. Right after eating up every bit of stuffed peppers you will prepare, take a walk outside and let the sun shine in your mind even it’s raining outside.

Red Pepper Stuffed with Bulgur and Mung Beans

Ingredients (makes 10-12 servings)

  • 1 kg (2,2 pounds) sweet red pepper
  • 1 ½ cups bulgur
  • 2/3 cup mung beans
  • 2 mid-sized onions
  • 2 mid-sized tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 10 g. (0,35 oz) black currant
  • 10 g. (0,35 oz) pine nut
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
  • Lemon juice(half lemon)
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Instructions

1. Wash the red peppers, cut their upper parts along with the stalks (keep them aside to use later) and remove the seeds within them.
2. Wash the bulgur and drain.
3. Roast the pine nuts in a skillet until they have a nice brown color in the middle.
4. Boil the mung beans for around ten minutes until they loose their firmness but make sure you stop boiling at the right time so that they are not so tender. Drain them and set aside.
5. Peel the tomatoes and cut into small dices.
6. Chop the onions finely and ground the garlic.
7. Place a pan on the stove, adjust the heat to medium level and pour the olive oil. Add the garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes.
8. Put in the chopped onions and keep on stirring until they are translucent.
9. Combine the sugar, tomatoes, bulgur, mung beans, black currant, roasted pine nuts, dry mint, salt and pepper. Cook for additional 3-4 minutes while stirring and set aside to cool down.
10. Chop fresh mint finely and add them to the rest of the mixture.
11. Stuff each of the red peppers with the blended mix and pay attention not to pack them fully since bulgur will need extra space to expand further. Close the lids you cut out from the peppers in the beginning.
12. Place all the stuffed red peppers in a large pan side to side. Pour the water and lemon juice over them.
13. Close the lid of the pan and cook the stuffed peppers until they are tender. Do not hesitate to add some hot water during the cooking process if all of the liquid evaporates before the peppers are done.
14. Serve the stuffed peppers after they cool down to room temperature with some yoghurt or sour cream. They will taste even better on the next day.

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