Plant-Stuffed Peppers

On one of our recent “I don’t know what should we have for dinner?” eternal conversations, my husband suggested stuffed peppers. I don’t really like stuffed peppers. They’re just not my thing. But then at the grocery store, I saw a picture of stuffed peppers on a package of veggie ground, and I realized IT WAS A SIGN. 

These plant-stuffed peppers are vegan and made with cauliflower rice to lighten them up. I made them with Beyond Meat crumbles to appeal to my aforementioned omnivore husband, but you could definitely swap the crumbles for an even less-processed, healthier and more inexpensive but still authentic option. If you’re not into vegan cheese, you can leave that out too.

Making these with a rainbow of bell peppers makes for a really pretty table. (Fact: I used to dislike green peppers but now LOVE them just as much or more than the red, yellows and orange ones.)

INGREDIENTS 

One full bell pepper per person

Clove of garlic, diced

Medium onion, diced

One package of mushrooms, cleaned and diced

One package of cauliflower rice (usually most affordable when purchased frozen)

1-2 tbsp smoked paprika (spice to your taste more spice = more healthy antioxidants)

1-2 tbsp turmeric

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp ground pepper

Salt to taste (less salt if using Beyond Meat, probably more if using black beans)

One package of Beyond Meat crumbles OR a can of black beans, well rinsed and drained

1 cup of cheddar vegan cheese

Chopped cilantro (optional, to serve)

Sliced avocado (optional, to serve)

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oven to 400F.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove any seeds and pith (white parts where seeds grow). This will give you your pepper containers to stuff. Dice up the parts of pepper that surrounds the stems to add into the stuffing mixture.

Pre-cook your frozen cauliflower rice in the microwave for a few minutes (if you have a microwave). This will help you prep the stuffing faster.

Meanwhile, warm some high-heat oil (avocado oil is great) and sautee the onions. Once soft, add the mushrooms, and the chopped pepper.

Once the veggies are soft, add the pre-cooked cauliflower rice and the spices. Always spice to taste – you can add more or less, or even add a little cayenne pepper if you are cooking for people who like it hot. (Definitely don’t add cayenne if not!)

After you have taste tested your spice blend, add the Beyond Meat crumbles or black beans. Beyond Meat is pre-cooked so it’s always added near the end of cooking so that it doesn’t get rubbery. Mix in your vegan cheese (if using).

Spoon the stuffing into your peppers, place them on a baking sheet and put the stuffed peppers into the oven to roast. After about 30 minutes of roasting, the peppers will start to blister and be ready to enjoy.

 You can serve the peppers topped with chopped cilantro or avocado if you like. I added some warmed-up Trader Joes vegan Cashew Fiesta queso dip before serving mine.