Superb as an appetizer or main course, this deliciously spicy recipe wakes up your taste buds and boosts your arterial wellness. A new study reports that eating chilies frequently reduces risk for fatal heart attacks and strokes by up to 50 percent. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts also have impressive cardiovascular benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Adding to the recipe’s tasty and heart-healthy ingredients, eggplants are a good source of fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants. Select chilies that are 3-4 inches long — and serve them with your favorite salad or grilled veggies of your choice.
12 chili peppers (try hot red peppers, jalapeño, poblano or other spicy peppers)
4 green onions
1 cup of cooked, chopped shrimp, chicken, turkey, tofu or other vegetarian protein
1 small Japanese eggplant, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, to taste
½ cup roasted cashews
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
3 tablespoons fresh coriander or basil, chopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350ºF. To clean chilies, wear rubber or latex gloves and avoid touching eyes. Slit each chili from stem to tip, taking care not to cut through to the other side. Open each chili and use a teaspoon to scoop out seeds and inner rind. Rinse in cold water to remove any remaining seeds, then set cleaned chilies aside. Slice white bulbs of the onions and set long green stems aside for later use.
Place onion bulb slices and all other remaining ingredients, except coriander or parsley, in a food processor or chopper. Coarsely chop, and then stuff chilies with the mixture. Gently tie one green onion stem around each stuffed chili to hold closed. Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until peppers are tender and skins start to brown. Top with chopped coriander or basil and enjoy! Serves four to six. Adapted from Thespruceeats.com and Omyveggies.com.