This morning, I was watching the Food Network (I know, I know- the "Evil Empire"), but got some inspiration to put a VegSpin on their stuffed pepper rings. So I took a veg meatloaf recipe that I found in VegNews Magazine from Allison Samson of Allison's Gourmet, and adjusted it a bit. The flavor was soooo good! They could be more "saucy" on top, so you may want to double the amount of sauce. I'll keep everyone posted on any new remixes!
Serves about 10
1 6oz. can tomato paste
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 T. minced garlic (do extra T. for the loaf)
vegetable oil or margarine for saute
1 C. yellow onion, chopped
1 C. portabello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 C. celery
1/2 C. carrots
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 C. cooked brown rice
1 C. French lentils
1 1/2 tsp. vegan Worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dry mustard (or dijon mustard)
1/4 C. minced cilantro or Italian parsley
1 T. arrowroot powder or Egg Replacer
3/4 C. fresh breadcrums (reserve some extra to top)
1 C. vegan crumbles (like Gimme Lean) or rehydratedTVP (textured veg protein)
1/4 C. vital wheat gluten
4 medium-large red bell peppers
In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat margarine or oil in a skillet, and saute onions (leave half of them raw) and carrots for a few minutes, until slightly tender. Then add the celery, mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper and saute for another 3-5 minutes until tender. In the food processor, pulse the rice and lentils about 10 times or until sticky but not smooth. Transfer this to a large bowl. Then pulse the cooked veggies, worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, dry mustard, cilantro, arrowroot, and 1/3 of the tomato sauce about 10 times also. Add that mixture to the bowl and mix in breadcrumbs, TVP (or crumbles), wheat gluten, and raw onions. Mixture should be very stiff and easily moldable.
Now, prepare the rings:
Wash and dry red peppers. Cut the bottoms off so you can see the hollow center. Then cut rings about 1" thick (each pepper should make about 3-4 rings). Remove the inside seeds and stems and arrange onto a lightly greased sheet pan. So as to not waste the bottoms, I chopped them up and mixed them into the veg meatloaf mixture (about 1 cup).
Take the veg meatloaf mixture and press into the center of each ring. Dollop remaining tomato sauce over each one and smooth over. Sprinkle each with leftover bread crumbs and bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until peppers are tender enough to cut with a fork. Before taking out of the oven, switch to broil (low) for a few minutes to brown the tops.
I served this with a microwaved potato and side salad. Enjoy!