Dean Richards shares his recipe for vegan stuffed tomatoes and peppers in honor of Lent.
- Mix or match: 2 large ripe tomatoes and/or 4 large red, yellow, green, or orange peppers
- 1 cup long grain rice (Farro can be substituted)
- 1 large sweet onion , finely chopped
- 4-6 leaves of kale (use the leaves, not the stems)
- ½ cup parsley , chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts (or chopped blanched almonds)
- ½ cup currants , optional
- 1-6oz. can, tomato paste
- ½ cup low sodium veggie broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus a few pinches (may need to adjust if using broth)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus a few pinches
- ¼ cup olive oil or use ½ cup broth or water to keep oil free
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and peppers and remove the insides. Save all of the tops to cover them later, but discard the inside of the peppers and keep the inside of the tomatoes. Sprinkle the cavity of the tomatoes and peppers with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Chop the tomato pulp. Take out half and set aside for later, then add the chopped kale, parsley and mint to the mix. Chop again until everything is mixed well. If not using tomatoes, just mix the kale, parsley and mint together.
- In a pot, sauté the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. .
- When the onions look transparent, add the rice, mix with the onion, add ½ cup broth (add 1 cup if using long grain brown rice), cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 5-7 minutes. This may take longer with brown rice. Thoroughly mix in the tomato paste until fully incorporated. Add broth as needed.
- Add the chopped tomato pulp that has been mixed with the kale, parsley, and mint. Add pine nuts, currants (if using), ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Add more broth, as needed to cook the rice. Taste and make sure the rice is mostly cooked.
- Arrange the tomatoes and peppers in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Stuff them with the rice mixture until they are ¾ of the way full. Cover them with the saved tops and brush the top with olive oil if using oil.
- Sprinkle the remaining chopped tomato pulp around the peppers. Drizzle with the leftover olive oil if using.
- Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the bottom of the pan, add the leftover broth if needed.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, checking periodically to see if more liquid is needed, you don’t want the bottoms to burn. If you need to add broth/water, make sure you heat it first. Taste as you go to check the rice, if the rice is cooked then pull them out of the oven. If using brown rice you may need to cook it longer.
See past recipes from Dean on his cooking page.
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