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vegan italian stuffed peppers

Vegan Italian Stuffed Peppers


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: vegan, Italian

Description

Italian stuffed peppers get a vegan twist. These peppers use a homemade, yet simple, marinara sauce and are stuffed with zucchini, brown rice, walnuts, olives, and broccolini.


Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 2 28-oz cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • heavy pinch black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

For the Peppers

  • 6 peppers, cut in half from top to bottom, and seeded (to make 12 halves)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccolini
  • half a bunch kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped black olives
  • 1 generous handful each chopped parsley and basil, plus more for garnish

Instructions

For the Sauce:

  1. Start the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauce pot. Once hot, add the garlic and saute until softened and fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, chili flake, bay leaf, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, until thickened.
  2. You can make your stuffing and prepare your peppers during this time.
  3. Once done, discard bay laf and puree about 3/4 of the sauce in a blender until creamy. Return to pot and mix with remaining chunky sauce.

For the Peppers:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook brown rice and set aside 2 cups (from about 3/4-1 cup dry).*
  3. Prepare peppers. Cut peppers in half from top to bottom. Seed peppers and brush with olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay peppers cut side down on a foiled or greased baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cool.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep saute pan. Once hot, add the shallot, celery, and garlic, season with sea salt and pepper and cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Next, add the broccolini and cook until crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add in zucchini and kale and cook 5 minutes more, until the zucchini is tender and the kale is wilted.
  5. Lastly, add in the walnuts and olives and heat through. Adjust mixture for seasoning by adding more salt if necessary and set aside.

Assemble the Peppers:

  1. Once the sauce is done, spread an even layer on the bottom of a large baking dish.
  2. Place the peppers cut side up.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable mixture with the brown rice, 1/2 of the sauce, and a large handful each of chopped parsley and basil.
  4. Stuff the peppers well with the mixture.
  5. Cover the peppers in additional sauce, reserving some sauce for serving.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the peppers for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and tender.
  7. Serve with additional sauce and a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs and a touch of sea salt.

Notes

*As a time saver, use organic frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Cook according to directions and measure out 2 cups.