When I made the decision recently to eat less meat, I had to make peace with the possible culinary conflicts that decision would cause. So that I don't drive my husband insane when it's my turn to cook for both of us, I try to keep the meatless dishes familiar and/or flavorful.
A lot of people I know seem to expect dishes to taste bad if they don't have meat in them, but there are so many creative ways to use the other food groups to make really good-tasting food. I think this dish is a good example that bridges the gap.
Vegetarian Stuffed Red Peppers
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
- 2 lg red bell peppers
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 lg portobello mushroom cap, chopped
- 1 cup lettuce, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 8 oz grated cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice before starting on the rest of the dish.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Put the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, and cook the onions until fragrant, for about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the cooked rice, lettuce, and spices to the saucepan and mix everything together well. Stir in the egg to complete the filling.
Slice the red peppers from stem to base and remove the seeds and pith. Spoon the filling mixture into each pepper evenly and top each with grated cheese. Place the stuffed pepper halves on a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese on top is browned and the peppers begin to shrivel a little bit. Let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with sour cream or guacamole.
Read tomorrow's post for the story of how the mushroom in these peppers was the freshest I've ever eaten...