200g (7oz) lean lamb mince
2 large peppers
150g (5.1 fl oz) fat free greek yoghurt
100g (3.5oz) cooked chickpeas (half a tin)
250g (8.8oz) pouch of easy cook/microwave rice
Peppers are often regarded with suspicion by people with arthritis, but contrary to some popular myths, there is no robust scientific evidence that cutting out the ‘nightshade’ vegetables (such as peppers, potatoes and tomatoes) has any benefits for people with arthritis. It’s sometimes claimed that they are high in oxalic acid and the alkaloid solanine and that these chemicals might aggravate joint inflammation – neither of these claims are true. In fact, the nightshade vegetables are actually a fantastic source of anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants and phytochemicals.
Peppers are especially rich in vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and important for keeping your immune system healthy. I’ve used them in this recipe, which is a cross between stuffed peppers and a quick healthier version of moussaka. The chickpeas give extra fibre and folate, whilst adding the fat free greek yoghurt ups the calcium content of the dish and gives a rich, creamy tasting topping. Lamb provides protein and vitamin B12 but you could substitute the lamb mince for quorn, lean beef mince or simply double the amount of chickpeas – all of which would lower the fat content of the recipe.
Ready cooked rice is now available in a huge range of flavours and a handy story cupboard staple for those of us with arthritis. If you prefer to cook your own, mix it with some tomato puree, garlic and oregano to boost the flavour.
Combine the lamb mince, rice and chickpeas together in a bowl.
Cut the peppers in half and pull out the seeds and white membrane. I find this easiest to do with my hands but you could also use a knife.
Place the peppers in a roasting dish and fill with the lamb mixture, pack it down well. Spoon the yoghurt over the tops of the peppers and sprinkle on a little of the parmesan.
Bake the stuffed peppers at 180C/375F for around 35 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the stuffing golden.
|Nutritional values for 1 serving (based on recipe serving 2)|
|Food Group||Food item|
|RED MEAT||Lamb: roast, chop or stews|
|RICE, PASTA & PIZZA||White rice|
|EGGS and DAIRY||Other (fat free Greek yoghurt)|
|VEGETABLES||Peppers (red, green or yellow)|
|PULSES, NUTS & SEEDS||Beans e.g. baked beans, chickpeas….|