Friday, September 26, 2008

Leftover Magic (Recipe: Stuffed Peppers)

Tonight I created a real winner: a nutritious, tasty meal that was also quick and simple to make, not to mention easy on the wallet.

I got fresh bell peppers on sale a few days ago, and they've been sitting in my crisper while I contemplated how to use them.

Last night we got treated to Chinese food, and we had a full quart of leftover brown rice. Peppers + Whole Grains = Stuffed peppers!

I also had 2 Tofurkey Sausages in the "meat" drawer of the fridge, 1/2 onion, 1/2 jar of leftover tomato salsa, and my usual collection of seasonings. You see where this is going!

Here's one of my recipes for stuffed peppers. Use what you have on hand to make them your own. I'll give suggestions for substitutions for each ingredient:

Fabulous and Frugal Stuffed Peppers

  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil or vegan margarine
  • 4 whole peppers (for fun, use yellow, green, red, and orange)
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (or any whole grain, such as quinoa, millet, or wheat berries)
  • 2 large vegan sausages, such as Tofurkey, chopped (if you're going soy-free, try 2 crumbled Sunshine Burgers)
  • 1/2 jar tomato salsa (or more or less to taste) (you can also use ketchup, BBQ sauce or teriyaki, depending on the flavor you're after)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder

(Feel free to use other spices in place of the ones I used, especially if you're going for a different dominant flavor.)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise , cut out the stem, and scoop out the seeds.
  3. In a small frying pan, saute the onions in the oil or margarine until translucent.
  4. In a big bowl, stir together brown rice, sausage, onions, and remaining ingredients until well-blended.
  5. Stuff each pepper half with the mixture, pressing down firmly. Place each pepper on a baking sheet, filling side up.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with vegan sour cream and a big salad.

Bon apepperitit!

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