For the fourth of July (sorry, I am very behind in my posting)… my parents and sisters invited Eric and I over for dinner. My parents just got a new barbeque on which they grilled some fish and veggies. I brought Vegetable-Stuffed Peppers made from a recipe in my Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly slow cooker recipe book. I have found that, with some tweaking (such as substituting vegan cheese or just leaving cheese out), a lot of the recipes from the “Bean and Other Main Dishes” section of this book can be vegan.
The recipe is ideal for a 6-quart, oval slow-cooker and makes 8 very filling servings.
4 large green, red, or yellow bell peppers
1/2 cup Minute rice (I tripled this because the rest of the filling looked so soft and tomatoey that it seemed like it needed more substance.)
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
2 tsp, lite soy sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (I tripled this, because I like garlic.)
28-oz. can low-sodium whole tomatoes
6-oz. can low-sodium tomato paste
15 1/4-oz. can corn or kidney beans, drained
As most slow cooker recipes are, this is very simple and much can be prepared in advance. I also highly recommend using disposable crock pot liners because cleanup is so easy (otherwise the baked-on sauces are a real pain to scrub off).
1. First, I combined all filling ingredients (except for the rice) in a large tupperware container in advance, made sure the lid was on tight, and shook it to mix the contents.
2. When it was time to begin cooking, I added the rice and repeated the shaking to mix it in.
3. Next, I carefully cut the tops off of the peppers (save those) and removed the seeds, then placed each pepper standing up in the slow cooker.
4. I stuffed the peppers crammed full of the filling and put the tops back on. The remaining ingredients were poured over and around the peppers. This extra filling wasn’t eaten, so it probably would have been better to save the remaining filling for another recipe or maybe squeeze in another pepper or two.
5. Then I covered and cooked it on low for 8 hours. The book suggests 6-8 hours and, after my experience, I would only cook it for 6 hours because those peppers were damn soft after 8 hours.
6. After cooking, we just cut each pepper in half (more like smushed each pepper in half with a knife because they were so soft) and served them in bowls.
The end result was tasty and extremely filling, but in my opinion, too smushy and tomatoey. In the future I may add both corn and kidney beans, cut the amount of tomatoes in half, kick up the spicy with salsa instead of tomato paste, and add some kind of seasoning or spicy peppers. The awesome thing about most slow cooker recipes is that you can subtract and add whatever you like. I am always making notes in my recipe books about doubling this or adding celery to that. I look forward to trying this again in many different combinations until I find my favorite one!