Vegan Stuffed Peppers
This is a vegan twist on a classic stuffed peppers recipe which normally contains rice and minced beef.
It is meat free and rich in protein, fibre, B vitamins as well as many of the key minerals - magnesium, iron and zinc as well as potassium.
Preparation time: 60 min
Ingredients for 5 portions:
5 large red or yellow bell peppers
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup of green lentils
1 medium aubergine
2 medium carrots
1 cup of frozen peas
2 small onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of basil
1 tsp of marjoram
1 tsp of oregano
1 bay leaf
300 ml of tomato puree
How to make it:
In a medium-sized pot boil 2 cups of water and add in green lentils. Simmer for 25 minutes and then remove from the heat.
In the meantime, pour 2 cups of water into a separate pot, add 1/4 tsp of salt and bring to boil. Then add in quinoa and simmer for 10-13 min, until quinoa gets soft. Remove from heat and let it stand for a few minutes.
A few minutes before lentils have finished cooking, start preparing the vegetable part of the stuffing for the peppers.
Take one larger pan and heat up 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Add in chopped onion and fry for 1 minute. Then add in aubergine and courgette (both cut to small cubes), grated carrots, frozen peas, marjoram, oregano, 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 15 min on medium heat. During the cooking you can add in very small amounts of water, to make sure that the mix doesn’t stick.
Once the vegetable mix, lentils and quinoa have all been cooked, add lentils and quinoa into the pan where you have been cooking the vegetables and stir until they are all well combined.
In a wider pot, heat up 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and add in 1 chopped onion. Fry for 1 minute. Pour in the tomato puree and 300 ml of water and add in chopped garlic, basil, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well. If you find the sauce too thick, add more water.
Once both the stuffing and the sauce have been prepared, take the bell peppers and carefully cut off the tops that contain the the stalk. Do not throw them away!
Clean out the seeds and stuff each pepper with the lentil-quinoa-vegetable mix that you have prepared.
Transfer the stuffed peppers into the pot with the sauce, positioning them vertically (so that they lean on each other) and covering them with their “hat", i.e. the piece of the pepper that you cut off earlier.
When all the stuffed peppers are in the pot, bring the sauce to boil and simmer for 17 minutes.
Remove from heat, coll down for a few minutes and serve.
If you find the dish on its own too light, you can also serve it with mashed potato or boiled eggs on the side (if you don’t mind to include non-vegan ingredients).