Couscous & Feta-stuffed Peppers

Original Recipe HERE

I was nervous about this dish because I don't always like cooked peppers.  Roasted, yes.  But so often they're served as part of something else and are mushy, limp, and almost bitter.  I'm pleased to announce that this dish has assuaged my fear and will be made again.  I assume the trick is to use sweeter peppers instead of green.

*J* ate the filling but didn't like the pepper shell, which was not a surprise.  What did shock me was how much *N* loved the entire thing, even asking for seconds.  I was so excited that she was eating peppers for once, instead of fastidiously picking them out of her meal, that I even let her use a "grown up knife" (under eagle-eyed supervision) to cut the pepper into bite-size pieces.

Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 1/4 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup couscous
4 extra-large or 5 large bell peppers [red, yellow, or orange]
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 zucchini or yellow squash [or a combination of both] peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced across thinly
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half [or one large tomato, diced with seeds removed]
15 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons tomato paste

(1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray.
(2) Bring the broth to a boil in a small pot.  Add the couscous; cover and remove from the heat.
(3) Cut stems and top half inch off peppers.  Scoop out seeds and membranes.
(4) Place peppers upright in the baking dish.  Roast for 15 minutes or until they soften.  Remove from the oven.
(5) Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion, zucchini, squash, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
(6) Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, chickpeas and tomato paste. Scrape the couscous into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in crumbled feta.
(7) Fill peppers with the couscous mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes: Only change I would make is to make the tomato flavor more pronounced (via pasta sauce or more tomato paste) to fit my personal preference.
Kid Participation: None.

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