Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mexican Stuffed Peppers: Gluten-Free and Zesty!

I don't remember what my mother used to stuff her peppers with, but I do remember that I always looked forward to them. As a kid, the idea of essentially an entire meal, stuffed into a handy little vegetable "bowl" was pure magic.



I wish I could apply the same "everything fits tidily with magic" process to things like:


  • All the kids' Legos magically and tidily going into the box after playtime
  • My bed head hair magically and tidily fitting under the perfect hat when I have five minutes to get out the door
  • All the gas I need for a massive road trip fitting magically and tidily into my gas tank all at once, so I don't have to stop to refuel along the way
  • All the papers on my desk magically and tidily finding their homes, and my file folders magically expanding to fit them all
  • A lifetime supply of toilet paper magically and tidily fitting into the cabinet, so I don't have to make another trip to Costco -- ever
But, I digress.

Since I couldn't remember what Mom put in her peppers (it probably wasn't vegan, anyway), I made my own, with a Mexican kick (because I'm zest-eh like that)!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

6 bell peppers, any color

1 – 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, juice included
1 large carrot, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. flax seeds
1/4 c. millet
1/2 c. nutritional yeast (buy it in bulk)
1 T. crushed oregano
1 t. chipotle chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 T. minced fresh garlic
1 - 7 oz. can diced green chiles (or use fresh)
1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
8 oz. vegan "cheddar" shreds (I use Daiya Deliciously Dairy Free)
About 2 c. quick oats

About 1 c. salsa

Vegan sour cream to garnish (optional) (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prep the bell peppers by rinsing, then cutting around tops to remove stems. Reach inside pepper and remove the "ribs." Stand up peppers in an oven-safe baking dish, and set aside.

Open the can of beans and blend – juices and all – in a blender or other food processing device. (I use the Magic Bullet.)

Empty into a large mixing bowl and add carrot, onion, flax seeds, millet, nutritional yeast and spices.

Mix well, then stir in chiles and tomato paste.

Fold in "cheese" shreds.

Stir in enough oats to make the mixture "stiff enough to stuff." If you make it too dry, just add a bit of water or vegetable stock.

Divide oat mixture between the six peppers, stuffing with slight pressure to ensure even packing.

Create a small well in the top of each stuffed pepper and fill with salsa.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 35 more minutes.

Once removed from oven, a dollop of vegan sour cream may be added to the top of each pepper.

ZEST-AH FIESTA!



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