An easy, visually appealing, delicious and filling meal is stuffed peppers. They are packed with delicious veggies, meat and rice and make a beautiful meal. All you really need is a side salad to accompany them – as they are very filling. When you are buying your peppers, look for the ones that aren’t too lopsided, smaller in size and are able to stand up on their own. Stuffed peppers are also a great gluten free meal. You can make these stuffed peppers using black beans or extra firm tofu to make them vegetarian, or you can omit the protein and just use the rice and vegetables.
I still haven’t been able to find gluten free hoisin sauce, so I made my own gluten free version, it is very simple and tastes delicious.
Asian Inspired Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers (any colour)
1 cup basmati rice (cooked in 2 cups of water)
1 zucchini diced
2 cups mushrooms diced
2 cups ground pork (or beef)
3/4 cups gluten free hoisin sauce (recipe below)
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cook the basmati rice. An easy tip that my grandpa taught our family is to boil the basmati rice and water together in a sauce pan – once it comes to a rapid boil, cover with a lid and take off the heat. Leave the rice covered for about 15-20 minutes on no heat, it cooks perfectly and doesn’t stick to the pot.
Sauté the diced zucchini and mushrooms in about 2 tbsp of olive oil until tender and golden. Move the vegetables into a bowl and use the same pan to sauté the ground pork. Once the pork is fully cooked, mix in 1/2 cup of the hoisin sauce. Transfer veggies into the pan with the pork and mix in the rest of the hoisin sauce. If the rice is cooked, mix the rice into the meat and veggies.
After washing the peppers, cut off the tops (stems) and remove the insides (seeds and such). Stuff as much of the filling into the peppers as you can, place the tops back onto the peppers and place the stuffed pepper into a baking dish. Fill the dish with about an inch of water, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until the peppers are tender.
Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce
2 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed – I used a pea based butter)
4 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp white vinegar
1.5 tsp sesame oil
2.5 tsp hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
There will probably be leftover filling, use the next day on top of a salad or in lettuce wraps.