Easy Pepper-Mushroom Stir-Fry

Mushroom Stir Fry
I’ve been seeing some stories in the media lately about a spike in vegetarians going back to eating meat. These are usually people who went vegetarian after learning about the cruel ways of factory-farming animals raised for food. But then they found out that meat from “humanely” raised animals is easily available, and wham! Now they get to have their burgers and keep that halo around their heads too because, they reason, after all these animals lived decent lives on farms before being passed through the meat grinder.

Here’s my question to these reconverted meat-eaters: I am sure most of you have lived pretty decent lives too. So would you be happy if you found out you were going to die tomorrow?

I didn’t think so.

There’s nothing like a humane death for a healthy animal, and there’s nothing like humane meat. In fact, the term is an oxymoron if I ever saw one. Death is always unwelcome to the one it’s thrust upon, including all those animals we hold captive for dinner. So assuming that it’s okay to go back to eating meat because someone stamped “humane” across the top of the meat package is plain stupid– or ignorant. Take your pick.

Besides, who but an ignoramus can really believe that most of the animals that are raised “humanely” are actually treated any differently than their counterparts on factory farms. In fact, investigations have often shown that some operations claiming to be humane are far from. Cage-free hens, for instance, are not usually really cage-free: the enclosures where they will spend their short, miserable egg-bearing lives are perhaps a little bigger, but they don’t get to do anything a bird should be free to do, like feel the sun on their feathers, and fly just a little bit, as hens do. And in the end they get to die for your nuggets too.

That said, if you are still adamant about eating meat, it is a better idea to seek out local sources of meat where you can verify that the animals you eat lead lives of some dignity, instead of being raised on grisly, miserable feedlots and inside crates where they cannot move an inch. But do think about this: death, no matter what adjective you tag it with, is still just death. And it still smells pretty damn awful.

And now on to other, more cheerful matters like this delicious stir-fry vibrant with red and yellow peppers, onions and mushrooms. I often stir fry peppers when I am really short of time because this is a vegetable that needs the minimum amount of seasoning and a short time on the stove before it turns into something so delicious, you want to snack on it straight out of the pot.

I sprinkled on the peppers some Adobo seasoning which I usually have on hand and which I sometimes use instead of regular salt. For those unfamiliar with it, this is a Mexican seasoning that contains salt, pepper, lemon, garlic and some herbs, among other things. I like it because not only does it add a lot of flavor to any dish, but teaspoon for teaspoon it contains less sodium than regular salt. But if you can’t find it where you live, feel free to use regular salt and, maybe, some spicy dried herbs like thyme or rosemary or oregano

Here goes the recipe. Enjoy!
Mushroom Stir Fry


Easy Pepper-Mushroom Stir-Fry
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4
  • 2 bell peppers of any color (I am partial to green but this time I used red and orange because I had them on hand), thinly sliced and, if long, cut across once. You want slices around 2 inches in length.
  • 1 medium onion, halved and cut into fairly thin slices
  • 1 8-oz package of mushrooms (button or cremini are fine), halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tsp or more to taste of Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  1. Heat the oil, preferably in a cast-iron or non-stick skillet.
  2. Add the onions, stir-fry for a minute, then add the remaining vegetables.
  3. Sprinkle the garlic powder and adobo seasoning.
  4. Stir-fry the veggies until the peppers get fairly tender but still have a strong bite. I like to let the veggies char a bit because it adds great flavor.
  5. Season with pepper and check if more salt is needed.
  6. Top with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
  7. These would be great either as a side dish or served inside a wrap with felafel or baked tofu.



Snow Dogs!

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  1. says

    That looks like a lot of snow!! here, in Portugal we just got some brief news about the bad weather on East coast, but since I’m fascinated by weather phenomena, I’ve been investigating this event by my own.
    Your dogs are so cute!! amazing pictures of them on the snow. Really nice to watch, thanks for sharing them.
    About your recipe, it’s my lunch time and it looks so easy to make, that I’m going to try it right now, I am sure it will be delicious!
    garlic powder is one of the most used ingredients here.

    Stay well,

  2. says

    I loved the pictures. Of the food and your cute dogs. I just shoveled part of the drive way and it was so much of snow. I have never eaten meat, so I probably shouldn’t say anything, but one of the reason could be economy. Compared to fresh vegetables, meat is cheaper in this country. Serving size of vegetarians is more compared to meat so it probably works out cheaper for them to eat meat and stay full for a long time. Just my 2 cents, and I could be wrong too.

  3. says

    Oh I love your dogs in the snow, they look so cute, looks like they are having fun :) Nice stir fry Vaishali, I too have adobo seasoning and I add them only in soups, using it in the place of salt sounds good…need to try it :)

  4. says

    I recently came across a blogger who went non-veg after being vegan. It was weird for me, i don’t know how could someone go back!
    Hehe did they love the snow!
    The first pic is fantastic with the steam!

  5. says

    For some reason there are a lot of people who never connect cruelty with the methods of slaughter. They hear “free range” or “humane,” but the animals are slaughtered the same. It’s pretty sad.

    I love a good stir-fry, it’s my go-to when I want something quick, easy and healthy.

  6. Amrita says

    You brought up this issue of “humane” meat at a very good time Vaishali. Here in Bangalore, one high profile restaurnat has come up that is boasting of serving “organic” meat where the chickens are raised “cage-free”. I fail to grasp the idea how people without even thinking for themselves buy such ideas! How can anyone give preference to killing for food!

    You know, tomorrow being Thursday, Sai Baba’s day and day after being Maha Shivratri, many non-veg eating people here are “abstaining” from meat to please the Gods! Note the selfish streak in their thought! The same “organic meat” that suited them on other days does not suit them on the days they feel they have to please the Gods!

  7. says


    I totally agree, raising animals for food is morally wrong, no matter how organic, grass fed, or few hours in open makes difference to their lives.

    I got fired up reading the write up! recipe is also cool! I will make without mushrooms, never still cultivated taste for it.

  8. says

    Interesting comments at the beginning about humanely-raised meat. I think you raise good points, but still, if you’re really trying to convince would-be vegetarians from going back, I’d try adopt a somewhat more sympathetic tone. Most of us live in a culture in which the overwhelming majority see nothing wrong with eating meat, and we see this ethical outlook reinforced daily. Calling a group of people stupid and ignorant is more likely to breed hostility than to actually change anyone’s mind.

  9. says

    Susana, good to hear from you again, and hope you’re all settled back in Portugal.:)

    BangaloreBaker, You are the second person who’s said to me that meat is cheaper than vegetables, but I don’t really think that’s true. Bu whatever the cost, meat comes at a heavy price to the animals, our health, and the environment. In the end, it’s not a good trade-off by any standard.

    Pavani, thanks. I haven’t stepped out all day and I don’t intend do :)

    Gita, thanks. I do love my adobo seasoning.

    Latha, Cham, AMA, Nostalgia, Madhu, Ahimsablog: Thanks!

    Amrita, great point! I never could get that “going vegetarian around festivals thing” either– seems like hypocrisy, pure and simple.

    Zengirl, thanks! And you can definitely make this without mushrooms– would still taste great.

    Claire, thanks, and you’re right– it’d be a great taco filling. Yum.

    Priya, Thanks.

    GhostsonTV, welcome, and thanks for your candid comment. I do beg to differ– I don’t think reconverted meat-eaters deserve sympathy, and they are certainly not getting it from me. This is a bunch of people who know about the horrors endured by animals raised for food– where is their sympathy for the animals when they blithely return to eating meat?


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