Recipe: Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Vegan Stuffed Bell Pepper with side salad

Here is a healthy, vegan recipe for traditional Stuffed Bell Peppers normally made with ground beef. At the end of the recipe, I’ll tell you how to make the traditional version, a traditional version with a healthy remix and a vegetarian version. I apologize in advance because I don’t measure when I cook. I’ll have to remember to do that if I’m going to be posting recipes! The main thing for the seasonings is to just season to taste. Start small. Add what you think looks right and taste. Add more of what you think you may need, but be light with the salt!

Ingredients

  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) – reconstituted – about 1/2 cup
    • [Alternate: the soy crumbles that look like ground beef]
  • Brown Rice, cooked – about 1/2 cup
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 1/4 Onion
  • Olive Oil – just enough to saute veggies, perhaps 1 Tablespoon.
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce
  • Salt (I use kosher salt)
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Oregano and Basil or an Italian mix (I didn’t have any so I used this new herb mix I just purchased called Herbs de Provence Spice Blend. It contained basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley, lavender, fennel seed, rosemary, marjoram and sage.)
TVP granules reconstituted in water

TVP granules reconstituted in water

Cooked Brown Rice

Cooked Brown Rice

Bell Peppers and Onion

Bell Peppers and Onion

Olive Oil and Tomato Sauce

Olive Oil and Tomato Sauce

Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Herbs de Provence

Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Herbs de Provence

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put TVP granules in a bowl and add water to reconstitute. It will only take a few minutes.

TVP granules

TVP granules

TVP granules reconstituted in water

TVP granules reconstituted in water

3. Cut top of peppers off and clean out the inside of the pepper removing the membranes and seeds. Save tops of peppers. These will be used as part of the mixture.

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4. Wash the peppers and then place in a pot covered with water.

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5. Add a little salt and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit.
6. Chop up the tops of the bell peppers and the onions. Put olive oil in a pan and add peppers and onions to saute. Saute for about 5 minutes.

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7. Add 1/2 can of tomato sauce to pepper/onion mixture and add seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasonings to taste. Stir.

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8. Add reconstituted TVP and brown rice to tomato sauce mixture. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes so all flavors can meld together.

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9. Spread some of the tomato sauce in the bottom of your baking dish to prevent sticking.

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10. Remove bell peppers from pot with tongs and put in baking dish. Stuff peppers with tomato mixture.

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11. Add remaining tomato sauce on top.

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12. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Vegan Stuffed Bell Pepper with simple side salad

Vegan Stuffed Bell Pepper with simple side salad

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Pepper

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Pepper

Notes

  • Vegetarian version: Add your choice of shredded cheese when finished.
  • Traditional version with healthy remix: Use ground turkey in place of TVP.
  • Traditional Meat version: Use ground beef in place of TVP. If you must, you can use white rice instead of brown.
  • What is TVP? I got this definition from about.com: “Texture vegetable protein, TVP for short, is a high-fiber, high-protein meat substitute made from soy flour and available in a variety of flavored and unflavored varieties, as well as different sizes, from large chunks to small flakes.”
  • TVP is a bland ingredient that takes on the flavors of whatever you are cooking. The texture is similar to ground beef, but not as chewy/tough.
  • I was a little leery about the Herbs de Provence Spice Blend since it contained fennel and lavender. I must say it was a pleasant surprise. The fennel and lavender actually brought out different flavors I wouldn’t have tasted had I not tried it. Go me!
  • Rating: 2 thumbs up from my meat eating hubby!

If you have any questions about the recipe or decide to try it, please comment.

-CB

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