STUFFED RED BELLS WITH PESTO SAUCE

4 large red bell peppers

1 T coconut oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups cooked long grain brown rice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 T yellow miso paste

1 T chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Zest of 1 small lemon

6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped

12 pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

1 Recipe pesto sauce (see below)

Wash, cut tops and pull the core out of the red bell peppers. Lay them in a steamer, cut side up and steam for about 3 minutes until just barely beginning to soften. Remove from heat to a square baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Set a skillet on medium heat and coat it with the coconut oil. Add the onions and gently sauté until caramelized. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients except the pesto sauce. Use this mixture to stuff the peppers. Bake stuffed peppers for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make the pesto sauce. When the peppers are heated through, remove from oven. Serve the peppers drizzled with the pesto sauce. Serves 4. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

PESTO SAUCE

5-6 cloves garlic

30 large basil leaves

1 t Himalayan sea salt

1/8 t ascorbic acid (Fruit Fresh)

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Finely chop the garlic cloves by dropping them down the chute of a food processor while it is running. Open the processor and add the basil leaves, Himalayan sea salt, ascorbic acid, and the pine nuts. Pulse until chopped. Run the processor and slowly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil down the chute. Serve pesto sauce over the stuffed bell peppers. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

Variation:

Try using other grains, this tastes great made with barley. If your peppers are quite large, increase the amount of cooked grain used to accommodate them.

THE TWIST

Red bell peppers are high in vitamins C and A, as well as several from the B complex group of vitamins and vitamin E among others. This combination of nutrients can help wound healing, improve dental health, boost the immune system, fight free radical damage that causes aging, protects against cataracts, reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, improve iron absorption, prevent colds and infection, moisturizes skin, supports brain function, reduces fatigue, supports healthy skin, reduces insomnia, supports brain health and reduces birth defects.

The fresh basil in the pesto does more than just deliver amazing flavor. It can help protect cells from radiation and oxygen-based damage. Basil also has anti-bacterial properties in its volatile essential oils which greatly restrict the growth of numerous bacteria including pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs.  Basil has anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief from health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Basil contains magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health and improvement of blood flow. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin A. It is also a good source of manganese, vitamin C and potassium.