I love the idea of stuffed peppers, pumpkins, squash, ect. There is something so classic and fall-friendly about stuffing produce and then baking it! I was at the farmers market this past week and saw these gorgeous peppers. I thought they would be perfect stuffed with the rage I made the previous evening.
I’m usually not that concerned with calories (thank you plant-based diet!), but the other nice thing about stuffed peppers is that they are very filling without adding extra calories. I added couscous to these, but you can do quinoa to make it gluten-free or double the ragu to stuff with instead.
Mmmm. Flavorful, colorful, these peppers are also BL approved. Quite the stamp in my opinion. Healthy, ‘man food’ doesn’t get much better than this.
Ragu Stuffed Peppers
4 large peppers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup couscous
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or vegetable parmesan cheese)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Ragu, recipe below
To prepare: Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly soft. Drain peppers and set aside.
Whisk together 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. vinegar, the tomato paste and 3/4 cup water. Pour into the bottom of a glass baking dish.
In a large saute pan, add the couscous and 1/2 cup water. Stir and let cook for 3 minutes until al dente. Add the ragu, parsley, basil, remaining red wine vinegar & cheese.
Place the peppers into a baking dish, cut side up. Stuff the couscous mixture into the bell peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot, about 25 minutes. Drizzle with remaining cooking liquid.
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
28oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 package beef-less crumbles (like the kind from Trader Joe’s or Tempeh)
In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and rosemary. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring, until softened about 5 minutes. Add the crumbles, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes & 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
This recipe came about as a happy accident. I had leftover quinoa and chipotle peppers from the week’s previous dinners and wanted to create something without having to head to the store again.
Well, needless to say these peppers were such a hit I made them again for my family and then used the leftover fillings in quesadillas for lunch. When I made them for my family, I used couscous instead of quinoa but I think I prefer the quinoa better. It stands out more from the smoky, chipotle sauce.
4 bell peppers
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby spinach, cut into bite sized pieces
Chipotle Cashew Sauce:
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
1/2 cashews, soaked in 1 cup water for at least 1 hour
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Place all the ingredients for the cashew sauce in a blender. Puree for 3-5 minutes until no graininess remains. Reserve for later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then place quinoa into a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, prepare the peppers. Remove pepper tops, stems, and seeds. If they don’t stand up on their own, slice a tiny bit of the bottom off taking care not to create a hole in the bottom. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add peppers, boil for 3 minutes and drain. Place peppers in a baking dish.
In a large saute pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil and add the minced onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes until translucent.
Add shredded carrots, black beans, and chopped spinach to the quinoa. Add the onion mixture and the cashew cream sauce. Stir to combine, add the cilantro and season with salt/pepper if needed.
Fill the peppers with the quinoa mixture. Add enough water to the baking dish to create a thin layer. This helps the peppers stay moist and steam.
Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are lightly browned.
If you want extra saucy goodness, reserve a few tablespoons of the cashew cream sauce to drizzle over the peppers the last few minutes of baking.
Per serving (1 pepper): 432 calories, 11g fat, 65g CHO, 15g fiber, 21g protein
Have leftover filling? Good! Try it stuffed into a quesadilla. Seriously good!
Not sure where the month of December went, as I planned on having this post up before the holidays! What food gifts did you get/give over the holidays? I’ve really gotten into canning this past year and decided to make an assortment of goodies to hand out. The peppers and the mustard were tied as favorites, so here are the recipes for both.
Hot Pepper Mustard
35-50 hot peppers, depending on size. (I used mostly banana peppers but added a few jalapenos and habaneros from the garden for extra kick.)
4 cups yellow mustard
4 cups Apple-Cider Vinegar
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
Combine the water and flour together in a separate bowl. Seed (optional) peppers and using a food processor or blender, chop them very,very fine. In a large stock pot combine the peppers, mustard, vinegar, salt, sugar, and flour mixture. Stir to combine and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes until mustard thickens. Ladle into hot jars and can using a water bath method for 10 minutes.
I love really hearty sandwiches and I think these are the perfect condiment. They ARE packed in oil, so just drain as much oil off as you want before using them. Sometimes I take day old french bread then pile on the vegetables and these peppers. The oil helps to soften the bread without making it soggy and act as a vinaigrette dressing for the sandwich.
40-50 Hungarian wax peppers
If you have access to a food processor with a slicing blade you are going to want to use it. I can’t imagine how sore my hands would be after slicing 50 hot peppers!
Seed (optional) and very thinly sliced the peppers using a mandolin or food processor. In a large bucket/pot add the peppers and enough white vinegar to cover. Cover the bucket/pot and let sit overnight.
To make the peppers: Drain off most of the vinegar. In hot jars, add 2 heaping tbsp. of oregano and 2-4 tbsp. of minced garlic. Add the peppers so they are lightly packed. Pour enough oil into the jars to leave 1/4″ head space. Can using a water-bath method. These taste best if they are able to sit for a few weeks before using, so plan accordingly!