Too many fucking peppers

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Far too many! Some of you who know me, may know that I cook for The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) every week, and have done for about a year now. If you know know about this project, please follow the link and learn. If though, you can’t be bothered, I’ll give the quickest overview I can:

TRJFP aims to reduce food waste. Supermarkets are really bloody awful and they set stupid standard for vegetables and if the amount of waste we get is anything to go by, they get their ordering all wrong! What this causes is tonnes of perfectly edible to end up in landfill – I’d love to go into this further, but I’ll leave it there.  TRJFP collects the ‘waste’ food from supermarkets and turns it into meals, which are available on a Pay As You Feel basis. Lots of people go to these cafes and get some food and meet people. Some people make a large donation, others a small donation, others donate some time to help out, and some donate nothing. It’s all good. Supermarkets then respond by paying more attention to their  ‘excess’ and hopefully by reducing waste through better ordering practices or by donating more food. In my dream, all the corporations collapse and small local businesses reign once more… anyway, back to the fucking peppers. 

Supermarkets have a real pepper over-ordering problem. Every week I’m faced with 30 peppers. I cannot abide repetition in cooking or boredom with food, so I have to step it up. In my opinion, this is a tasty, easy and nutritious way to deal with peppers. Quantities are approximate, so play around with it. Don’t worry!

Ingredients

1 large onion (red or white), cut in half and sliced into thin half-moons

1 medium large sweet potato cut into 1.5cm cubes

3 sticks of celery, in 5mm pieces

5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

3 red peppers (although, I am sure other colours will work) sliced into sticks about 5mm wide 

2 medium tomatoes, each chopped into 8

Sea salt 

Black pepper

Either 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes or a fresh chilli finely minced

1-2 tbsp mild smoked paprika (it is essential it is smoked paprika)

1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 bunch Fresh Parsley, torn up

1 lemon

Method

  1. Put the oven on to 200c. 
  2. Boil a kettle of water, add the sweet potato. Cookmfir 7-10 mins of until the potato is soft but not collapsing. Drain when done and leave to one side. 
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large wide flat pan. Medium-low heat. 
  4. Sauté the garlic and the smoked paprika until the garlic is beginning to turn golden. 
  5. Add the onions and celery and a good tsp of sea salt. Stir and sauté this reaaaal slow so the onions get soft and sweet. Too hot and you’ll crisp and burn them, which is what we call fucking it all up. 
  6. Keep going, this might take 15-20 mins. If you can’t be arsed, sauté for 5, turn the heat low, bang a lid on and get on with your life for 15. 
  7. Add the peppers and tomatoes and turn the heat up a bit. You’ve just gotta keep going and make it all soft and GOOD. 
  8. When you are fed up, stir in the chickpeas and sweet potato, cook for 2 mins. Taste and season this. 
  9. Add it all to an oven-proof dish  and put it in the oven. Cook until it’s all softened and looking like a meal you want to eat – maybe 15/20 min again. 
  10. Sprinkle with parsley and give it a squeeze of lemon and bring to the table. 

I like it with rice, flatbread, Baba ghanoush, salad, on its own. All good and a nutritional wonder. 

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