I'm on the road for a week starting today, but before I leave I wanted to share this quick, easy AND healthy recipe that's one of my favorites: Brown-Rice-Stuffed Bell Peppers.
I love making this with different color peppers just because it makes for such an attractive presentation, but if you have just one color that's perfectly fine too. Here's a little secret: although I don't usually discriminate among my veggies, I do have a favorite among bell peppers: the green ones. I know they don't have as much Vitamin A and all that as the riper red versions, but so far as flavor goes, the green ones are the ones to beat.
You can get creative with this stuffing: I added bell peppers, potatoes and onions to it, but zucchini, greens like spinach, carrots and mushrooms would all be great in here. I also added some peanuts to the rice, but feel free to use other nuts like cashews.
I top off the stuffed bell peppers with what I call my cheese substitute: only a healthier version. Breadcrumbs mixed with some miso. Trust me, this is so amazing, Desi thought he was eating cheese. Besides miso is one of the greatest foods you can put into your body, packed as it is with digestive enzymes and protein. The topping also keeps the rice stuffing from getting too dry and crunchy, so try not to skip it.
Until then, enjoy this recipe!
- 3 large bell peppers , tops sliced off and then seeded. Reserve the peppers whole and finely dice the tops that you cut off.
- ½ cup breadcrumbs , mixed with ½ tsp oil and 1 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
- 1 medium onion , finely diced
- 1 medium potato , finely diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- ⅓ cup peanuts
- 2 tsp udad dal (black gram dal)
- ¾ cup brown rice , cooked until tender but chewy
- 1 ½ tbsp canola oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ to 1 tsp cayenne or other fairly hot red chilli powder
- ½ tsp turmeric (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Salt to taste
- Heat 1 tbsp oil and add the mustard seeds. When the crackle, add the udad dal and peanuts. Stir until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Add the onions and potatoes. Saute until the potatoes become quite tender, about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt to taste.
- Add the chopped portion of the bell peppers and stir in. Cook, stirring, another 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked rice and mix well.
- Turn off heat and stir in the chopped coriander.
- Now stuff each of the three bell peppers with the brown rice all the way to the top.
- Top each pepper with the breadcrumb-miso mixture.
- Oil an oven-safe bowl in which you can accommodate all three peppers standing up. Place the bell peppers in it.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until the breadcrumb topping is golden brown.
- Serve hot.
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