Friday, February 4, 2011

Vegan Recipe - Italian Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

It is the first Friday of the month and that means it's time to head to the kitchen for another delicious vegan dish. If you've been following this blog for any length of time, then you know that we promote meatless meals as one of the easiest ways to walk a little gentler on the earth. Putting it briefly, it takes less natural resources to produce one pound of plant-based foods as opposed to the same amount of animal-based foods. If you're thinking that a meatless meal is boring and nothing more than "rabbit food" on a plate ... you're in for a pleasant surprise!

This month's recipe comes from another of my favorite sites: Live. Learn. Love. Eat. Tiffany, author and "chef extraordinaire", shares wonderful vegan recipes such as Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes and Veggies Love Macaroni and Cheese. Her recipe page is sorted by meal and each recipe includes easy-to-understand instructions, pictures (even some of her adorable children) and stories. On another page, Tiffany shares information about the ingredients she uses in her recipes. Not sure what nutritional yeast is or how to use Chia Seeds? No problem ... she's got it covered. Live. Learn. Love. Eat. is a friendly, warm site ... and a wonderful cooking resource.

Tiffany has graciously agreed to share a recipe with us today. I hope you'll give it a try.

Italian Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Makes 4 stuffed peppers

* 4 large bell peppers
* 1 cup cooked brown rice
* 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 1 small zucchini, diced
* 1 bell pepper of your choice, diced
* 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
* 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
* 1/2 cup grated soy mozzarella cheese (optional)


In a skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the garlic. Saute the garlic until it becomes fragrant. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent. Add the chopped zucchini and pepper to the onion and garlic along with the Italian seasoning, sauteing a few minutes more, until the vegetables become soft. Add the pasta sauce, cooked brown rice and black beans. Cook until mixture is hot, reduce heat to low and prepare the peppers. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cut the tops off of the 4 large bell peppers, rinse and take out the seeds. Blanch the peppers in the boiling water for a few minutes, watching them carefully. You do not want them to get too soft or they will not stand. Preheat the oven to 350F. Stand the blanched peppers up in a baking dish and stuff them with the Italian bean/rice mixture.Top with grated soy mozzarella cheese if desired and bake for 10 minutes. Broil the peppers for the last few minutes of the baking time if using cheese, until the cheese is melted.

Doesn't that sound great? I'd to thank Tiffany for that wonderful recipe and I encourage all of you to visit her site and browse around. One warning, however ... her site will definitely make you hungry!

If you have a vegan recipe which you'd like to share, please send it to me HERE. All of our featured recipes can be found by clicking the "Vegan Recipe" tab at the top of this blog or by clicking HERE.