They're amazing, aren't they? While I've never followed a "strict" stuffed pepper recipe, I've always stuck to the basic components of it: peppers (tops off, ribbed and seeds removed), some sort of ground "meat," some form of liquid tomato, onions and rice.
And while they're always delicious (regardless of what ingredients I end up tossing together), the peppers themselves are kind of drama queens. It's not like you just cut the tops off and throw some stuff in them, oh no, you've got to take things out, put things in, cook them just the right amount of time so they're done but not mushy.
This past week I was at the grocery store picking out some carrots and I started drooling over the peppers. What can I say, sometimes I get weird hankerings. I contemplated making stuffed peppers for about three seconds before I decided they were way too much work, especially if it was just going to be myself, my husband and our two kids eating them. There's no need to impress them with the presentation.
And then I was inspired by a dumbed down cabbage roll recipe I did a few years back and decided it was time to make this happen. This takes hardly any effort at all (if you really want to skimp on time just grab some frozen diced up veggies and you'll really be set) but it tastes JUST like the tedious stuffed peppers you used to make.
Vegan stuffed pepper casserole
3 medium green peppers, diced (you can do 4 if you really like peppers, or use red, yellow or orange if you want to get really crazy!)
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cups cooked lentils (just follow your lentil instructions)
3 tomatoes, diced
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp basil
2 TBS minced garlic
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup vegan cheese (optional, we used Daiya Mozz because we had that on hand)
Cook your lentils and brown rice. (Just follow the instructions on their packaging). Preheat your oven to 385 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together your cooked lentils, brown rice, black pepper, salt, thyme, basil and garlic. Add vegan Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Stir in diced onion, peppers and tomatoes. In a greased, large casserole dish (9X12 or whatever), pour stuffed pepper mixture. Top with vegan cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese starts to melt and brown a little.
Serve with your favorite salad, veggie or garlic bread! Contemplate never stuffing a pepper again!
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