Full, rich, mouth-watering flavor marries low-fat, super nutritious, oh-so-very-healthy, and exceptionally high-in-fiber. It’s the wedding of the century.
So very good and so very good for you!
How can this be?
By replacing some of the traditional ingredients (like ground beef) with healthier – yet very flavorful – options, we can reduce the calorie count of these stuffed peppers by 100 calories each! And we totally eliminate the saturated fat and cholesterol! Aaaannd we added 5 grams of fiber!
I’ll take two please.
- 4 large, sweet bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion (or one small), diced small
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 3/4 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 small to medium tomatoes, diced small
- 3/4 cups corn kernels (drained if canned)
- 1/2 cup (one 2.5 ounce can) sliced olives, drained
- 3/4 cup cooked black beans or red beans, lightly rinsed and drained well
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley – optional
- 2 teaspoons granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup crumbled, extra-firm (water-packed - not silken) tofu seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt (See note below about alternative toppings.)
- Cut a small slice off the bottoms of peppers to make a flat bottom so the peppers will stand up. Dice this bottom slice into small pieces. Set aside.
- Slice off tops of peppers to remove the stem part. Dice the flesh part of the tops into small pieces. Add to diced pepper bottoms.
- Heat oil in a large pan and sauté diced pepper pieces and diced onions over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until they just begin to soften.
- Add garlic and rice and sauté for one additional minute.
- Stir in tomatoes, corn, olives, beans, and seasonings. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, pour tomato sauce and broth into the bottom of an oiled 2-quart baking dish. Stir gently. (If you prefer saucier stuffed peppers, rather than placing the sauce in the bottom of the dish, pour it over the peppers after they are stuffed in step #7.)
- Remove seeds and membranes from the insides of the peppers. Fill peppers with rice mixture, packing tightly so as to fill with as much mixture as possible. Place peppers (standing up) in baking dish.
- Sprinkle tops with crumbled tofu or other topping. (While a tofu or cheese topping really adds to these stuffed peppers, they taste great even without any topping, so if you don't have anything on hand, no worries.)
- Cover and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes.
I like to use seasoned, crumble tofu instead of cheese for many dishes that normally call for cheese, including these stuffed peppers, because:
1. it’s easy
2. it’s a much healthier option than cheese
3. it tastes good
4. Did I mention it’s easy?
But today, mozzarella cheese just sounded good to me, so I made my homemade, vegan mozzarella cheese, and, oooooh, am I glad I did! It was just luscious over these stuffed peppers. Want the recipe?
Ok, I’ll post it soon. You can find it here.
A drizzle of my Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce would also be delicious.
Or you could use a store-bought vegan cheese or dairy cheese, although both would up the calorie count and the saturated fat content quite a bit.