Spa Recipe: Fire-roasted Peppers Stuffed with Feta

As a snack or a side, this healthful dish combines smoky, salty, savory and sweet flavors.
The Wellness Kitchen Cookbook by Paulette Lambert

Hugging the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu, California, the award-winning Four Seasons Westlake Village enjoys a well-justified reputation for its glorious spa and deluxe accommodations. But steps away from the pampering there’s a more serious side to the hotel: the adjoining California Health & Longevity Institute, whose team of expert physicians, dieticians and lifestyle consultants offer everything from sleep studies to fitness assessments to life-balance programs.

Not surprisingly, with smart food choices increasingly linked to extended lifespans, nutrition counseling is a cornerstone of the CHLI’s services. In the facility’s newly refurbished Wellness Kitchen, resident director of nutrition Paulette Lambert, R.D., C.D.E, hosts informal-yet-educational cooking classes and events such as Farm-to-Fork Fridays.

Lambert recently authored the book The Wellness Kitchen: Fresh, Flavorful Recipes for a Healthier You (Adams Media, 2015), packed with more than 100 healthful recipes, including breakfasts, entrées, desserts and snacks such as these feta-stuffed peppers. The vibrant veggies are loaded with vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber, and because the cheese is dense in flavor, just a tiny amount is enough to impart a tangy high.

“The blend of smoky, salty, savory and sweet flavors stimulates the taste buds, making them a perfectly satisfying snack or side dish,” enthuses Lambert. The suggested serving is two peppers per person, but the chef recommends making extra if you’re feeding a group. “They fly off the platter in seconds!” she says.

In the book, Lambert provides plenty of time-saving and food-prepping tips and, for anyone hoping to broaden their culinary repertoire, the following advice: “Knowledge is power, but the power of practice is much more important. Practice recipes until you find them easy and then move on to others.”

Fire-roasted Peppers Stuffed with Feta

12 red, yellow and orange mini sweet peppers
1/2 cup part-skim feta cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat grill to medium. Using a paring knife, cut tops off peppers and remove seeds and ribs. Stuff each pepper with a rounded tablespoon of feta. In a bowl, whisk oil into balsamic vinegar. Lightly season mixture with salt and pepper. With a pastry brush, brush over peppers. Grill until golden and cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.