Introduction: Vegan Stuffed Peppers

I decided to try and make stuffed peppers for the first time tonight. Traditionally, stuffed peppers have ground meat in them. I used beans and lentils as as my protein source though. This recipe will make 7-12 stuffed peppers depending on the size of your bell peppers. I only made 4 stuffed peppers because I knew I would want to add extra stuffing to each serving on the side.

The things you will need are :

- bell peppers ( your choice of colour)

- 1 1/2 cups of water

- 2 tbsp tomato paste

- salt

- pepper

- 4 cloves of garlic

- 1/2 cup rice

- 1/2 cup lentils

- 1 can of beans

- 2 tsp dried basil

- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

- 1 medium zucchini

- 1 medium spanish onion

- 1 tsp oil

- 1 can diced tomatoes

All of the ingredients that seem vague (oil, lentils, beans) are that way because you can use the one of your choice.

Step 1: Sautéing the Veggies

Cut up your onion and sauté it in a large frying pan with the oil on med-low heat until it becomes soft and translucent. This should take around 10 minutes. While this is happening you can mince your garlic and dice the zucchini. After the 10 minutes is up put in your zucchini, it only needs to cook for about 3-4 minutes. Next,add in your garlic, basil and tomato paste. Stir around for just a minute or so.

Step 2: Cooking Your Stuffing.

Put your rice, beans and lentils in your onion mixture. I let them heat up and start to absorb some flavour for about a minute, stirring well. I then added the water and diced tomatoes. I let this simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes. I wasn't very confident in my oven's ability to cook the rice well without over cooking the peppers. This started the rice and lentils cooking so by the time they went in the oven they were par cooked. Pre heat your over to 300 degrees.

Step 3: Cutting the Peppers

Cut the peppers about 2 cm down from the top. This leaves a nice sized cap to stick back on. Hollow out the peppers, removes all of the seeds and as much of the membrane as you can. The peppers can now go into your baking dish.

Step 4:

Fill your peppers almost to the top, replace the lid and place them in the oven. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes, your time may vary. If you feel like the tops of your peppers are getting a little too much direct heat, you can cover everything with tinfoil. If you are doing as I did, and keeping your left over rice mixture instead of making more peppers, it needs to cook more. I left it on medium low heat until the rice was cooked, it finished a little before the peppers. Enjoy :)

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