Stuffed Peppers: Chock-Full Of Flavor And Deliciousness
These stuffed peppers are a classic go-to evening supper – for many people, and for good reason. Before I went vegan I used to dress my peppers with lashings of dairy cheese, but I have to say this take is much yummier (and you can can still add vegan cheese if you wish). They do take a while to prepare, but are great to make in batches so you have leftovers and lunches.
Serves 4 | About 1.5 hours
- 8 red peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 60g pine nuts
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 450g frozen vegan mince
- 3 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 450g tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 100g preserved lemons, finely chopped
- 110g basmati rice
- 80g tomato purée
- 3 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- 8 bay leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Dressed green salad, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180 º C (160 º C fan, gas 4). Cut off the tops of the peppers and keep to one side. Scoop out and discard the white members and seeds. Rub inside and out of the peppers with a little oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Stand the peppers upright in a flameproof casserole, packing them in tightly.
2. Put the pine nuts and toast over a medium-high heat, tossing regularly, for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to one side.
3. Put the oil in a non-stick wok or large saucepan over a medium heat and stir-fry the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the mince and spices, and cook until the mince is defrosted and lightly browned. Add the chopped tomatoes and 200ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down. Stir in the pine nuts, preserved lemons and rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Fill the peppers with the mince mixture. Put the tomato purée and sun-dried paste in a jug and stir in 400ml hot water. Pour a little of the liquid into each of the peppers, add the reserved pepper tops and pout the remaining liquid into the casserole. Slide the bay leaves in among the peppers.
5. Put the casserole on the hob and bring to the boil, then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 35 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until the stuffed peppers start to brown and the sauce in the base is reduced a little.
6. To serve the stuffed peppers, spoon over a little of the sauce from the base of the casserole and serve with a dressed green salad.
Want to know more?
Lucy Watson, from whose cookbook we extracted this recipe, is queen of vegan cooking and delish, wholesome meals. Click here for her chocolate fondant volcano pudding – also vegan, also mouthwateringly good.
Click on the link to find out why a diet rich in fruits and vegetables contributes to a long life, and how a plant-based diet can improve your overall lifestyle.