An easy and healthy vegan stuffed peppers recipe without rice, just peppers filled with vegetables and simmered in tomato sauce.
I do love my stuffed peppers. I make them often, I change the filling according to my mood and what happens to be in season and if there is a picture that I am bound to click on Foodgawker or Pinterest, then it is for sure the picture of a stuffed pepper. They have something so appealing to me, I cannot resist. 🙂
And like I have mentioned a couple of times here, I have hundreds of cookbooks, hand-written recipe notebooks and magazines and I’ve noticed that if a cookbook – whether Yotam Ottolenghi Jerusalem: A Cookbook , Jamie Oliver Jamie’s Kitchen or Silvena Rowe The Eastern and Central European Kitchen: Contemporary & Classic Recipes contains a stuffed peppers recipe – then that particular recipe is one of the firsts I actually make…
HEALTHY VEGAN STUFFED PEPPERS RECIPE
I don’t know how it came that peppers became one of my favorite vegetables, except tomatoes they are the one veggie that I always have in the house, I eat them raw every day, I put them in just about anything, I cooked them in more different ways than any other vegetable probably.
And they used to be the most hated vegetable for me as a kid. I have always eaten them raw, but cooked peppers were evil for me back them, probably the way that mushrooms are a thing from the devil for my kids nowadays. My grandmother always took care to leave the peppers in large chunks in any dish she made using them.
Otherwise, if the pieces were too small, I would not have been able to pick them out entirely and then I would refuse to eat anything anymore… 🙂 Children!
VEGAN STUFFED PEPPERS IN TOMATO SAUCE
And back to today’s recipe: this vegan stuffed peppers recipe is just amazing! I am so sure anybody would like these stuffed peppers, either vegans, vegetarians or meat lovers. Even if you normally like your peppers stuffed with meat, trust me, you will not miss the meat in this case.
There is so much flavor involved, so much comfort due to that delicious tomato sauce and if you add the mashed potatoes (please do) you will make anybody happy.
I used my homemade tomato sauce to make the sauce for the vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe, but you can use any kind of tomato sauce you like. I usually take the listed vegetables to fill the peppers, but you can experiment there as well, take what you like best and what is in season.
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS WITH VEGETABLES
As mentioned above, this is a vegetarian or vegan stuffed peppers recipe without rice. So, if you are eating low carb this is the recipe for you, no rice or any other grains, just bell peppers stuffed with some more veggies. But, as I am not so much into low carb myself, I always serve these healthy stuffed peppers with mashed potatoes.
The combination of those flavorful vegetable stuffed peppers, tomato sauce and mashed potatoes is just heavenly!
Step 1: Make the tomato sauce. It can be made in advance, it keeps well for several days in the fridge.
Step 2: Prepare the bell peppers. I normally take red bell peppers when making a stuffed peppers recipe, they are the sweetest one. Yellow are fine as well, but I would not use green bell peppers, I find them too bitter in such large quantities. Cut the top of the peppers and carefully remove the seeds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a little salt and cook the peppers for 2 minutes. Drain well.
Step 3: Prepare the vegetables. Cut the carrot and the zucchini into thin sticks and slice the mushrooms and the onion.
Step 4: Cook the vegetables in a little olive oil for about 7-8 or until most of the liquid released by the mushrooms is gone. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill the peppers with the vegetable filling.
Step 5: Pour the tomato sauce and vegetable broth in a pot large enough to hold the peppers. Bring to a simmer, add the tomato paste, more salt and pepper if necessary. Arrange the stuffed peppers in the sauce and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through. The stuffed peppers should become soft but not mushy. Remove the lid from the pot and cook the peppers for 5 minutes more, allowing the sauce to thicken a bit as well.
Sprinkle with lots of fresh parsley and serve with mashed potatoes.
- Tomato sauce:
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can whole or chopped tomatoes, 400 g/ 14 oz
- 1/2 can (from the tomatoes) filled with water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon dried savory/thyme/oregano/Italian herbs/Herbs de Provence
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- fine sea salt and ground black pepper
- Vegan stuffed peppers:
- 4 red bell peppers
- 1 carrot, about 100 g/ 3.5 oz
- 1 small zucchini, about 150 g/ 5.3 oz
- 6-7 mushrooms, about 300 g/ 10.5 oz
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 300 ml/ 10 fl.oz/ 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth
- fine sea salt and pepper
- a small bunch of parsley
Tomato sauce: Chop the onion and the garlic cloves finely. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, stir it shortly in the pan. Add the canned tomatoes, crush them if they are whole. Half fill the empty tomato can with water and give the water to the pan. Add the tomato paste, herbs, bay leaves, sugar salt and pepper, stir very well. Bring to a boil and cook on a medium-high flame for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down and continue cooking the tomato sauce, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper and a little more sugar, if necessary. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce and puree the sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. Vegan stuffed peppers: Cut the top of the peppers and carefully remove the seeds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a little salt and cook the peppers for 2 minutes. Drain well. Clean the vegetables. Cut the carrot and the zucchini into thin sticks and thinly slice the mushrooms and the onion. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the vegetables, sprinkle them with the sugar and cook them, stirring often, for about 7-8 minutes or until most of the liquid released by the mushrooms is gone. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill the peppers with the vegetable filling. Pour the tomato sauce and vegetable broth in a pot large enough to hold the peppers. Bring to a simmer and whisk in the tomato paste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary, then place the peppers in the sauce. Cover, turn the heat down to low and cook the peppers, turning on the other side after half of the cooking time, for about 20 minutes or until soft but not mushy. Remove the lid from the pot and cook the peppers for 5 minutes more, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly. Sprinkle with lots of fresh parsley and serve with mashed potatoes (not vegan, if cooked with milk and butter). Plain boiled potatoes, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, couscous, bulgur or polenta would make great vegan sides as well.
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