Vegan Stuffed Peppers
While visiting Oklahoma this summer, Tim’s aunt and uncle made stuffed hatch chile peppers as an afternoon snack/appetizer one day. Since they stuffed them with pork (which I do not eat), it left me wanting to stuff some hatch chiles myself so, I did! They are fabulous for game day eats alongside veggies and hummus, buffalo cauliflower, or sliders. Better though, I stuffed some poblano peppers too and, since they can fit more of the “meat”, they are a great meal on their own later in the week after you’ve had the stuffed hatches as a snack.
Due to the healthy carbohydrate (yay fiber!) and protein content, these peppers can be great snacks for athletes throughout the day too. Just watch it if you get hotter than normal peppers before practice – you don’t want an upset stomach to mess up your workout. Another option is chopping them up and adding them to eggs for a yummy scramble after a tough morning session. I am getting hungry just thinking of that!
Buying peppers in a certain shape when stuffing matters. With the hatches, the more curvy they are, the harder they will be to slice and stuff so, try to get pretty rounded straight ones if you can. For the poblano peppers, shape isn’t typically that different from one to another but, if you plan to make it a meal, get larger ones that can fit enough of the stuffing. You’ll also just be slicing those open rather than cutting them in half.
In terms of heat, be aware that some hatches and poblanos are mild-moderate in heat and some are just hot! I love the flavor of both when mild but am also a huge fan of spicy (as you can see in the pic, I maybe stuffed a couple of jalapenos too!) so, to me it doesn’t make a difference which I wind up with. If you’re trying to avoid a high level of spice, be aware that when the hatches have a little bit of orange or red, they’ll probably be spicier. I also find that of poblanos when there are green spots on it much darker than the rest of the pepper. Unless its August, it is less likely for these peppers to pack tons of heat if you live in the northeast region anyway! If you want less heat, get out of the kitchen! Just kidding, you can fill sweet bell peppers with this stuffing too 🙂
I also promise that the sweet onion and carrot mixture below, when mixed with cashews, cumin and oregano, will tone down the heat to make these more flavorful than spicy.
This can also be a garlick-y recipe if you want it to. Garlic and onions have excellent anti-bacterial and immune properties due to their antioxidant contents but, some people just don’t love the strong flavor as much and my household. If you fall into that category, eliminate the garlic cloves and just use the garlic powder indicated.
It looks like it is going to be a rainy weekend for much of the east coast so, add these ingredients to your grocery list and put your chef hat on while you’re hanging inside!
Vegan Stuffed Peppers
- 2 large poblanos, 4 medium hatch chlies, or your favorite pepper
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small-medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- 1 Can low-sodium black beans or, 2 cups cooked from dry
- 2/3 Cup cooked bulgur
- 1/2 Cup cashews, soaked in water at least 2 hours
- 1/4 Cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon each: paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper
- Add cashews to a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit at least two hours.
- Cook bulgur as indicated on package.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Heat avocado oil in a pan over low-medium heat and first add garlic. Stir before adding the finely diced onion. Stir again and cover for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the carrots to the garlic and onion mixture and stir again. Add a tbsp of water if the mixture starts to stick to the pan at all. Cover for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Cut hatch chiles in half and remove seeds. For poblanos or other larger peppers, put a large slice down the middle of the pepper, large enough that you can remove the seeds and stuff but being careful not to cut through.
- Add the onion & carrot mixture, drained cashews, and 2 tbsp of the cashew water to a food processor and pulse until well-mixed with a slightly creamy texture.
- Next, add the beans, nutritional yeast and spices, pulsing for roughly 30 seconds.
- Add the bulgur and pulse on and off until mixture is well incorporated but still has a “meaty” texture.
- Spray a glass or ceramic baking dish with an oil cooking spray or, lightly coat with avocado or olive oil. Place the peppers in the dish and place in oven.
- Bake the hatch chiles for 20-25 minutes and poblanos for 30-35 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on the size and diameter of the peppers.
Enjoy with your vegetarian or non-vegetarian friends! Tim thought this tasted and had a texture just like meat so, you can even try to trick people and not let them know 🙂
Does anyone have a stuffed pepper recipe to share? I always love trying new things!