Wow! has it really been so many months since my last blog post? Although the Spring Semester and all that crazy weather really took a toll on my blogging, I somehow managed to photograph several meals and remember how I made them. This particular photo generated recipe inquiries when I posted it on Facebook. Hopefully it arrives better late than never!
Vegan Taco Stuffed Peppers
Way back in April I was determined to use up a bunch of odds and ends cluttering my kitchen. Whole Foods had featured gorgeous bell peppers and avocados on sale; our CSA had included two onions – one very small; we had one or two scallions, a bunch of cilantro on its last legs, a package of vegan “ground beef,” and an almost empty jar of salsa in our refrigerator. Because the weather was warming up, my mind turned to warm-weather foods. Taco stuffed peppers seemed a terrific way of satisfying both my desires.
Ingredients (feeds 2):
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 package vegetarian ground beef
- 1 small onion
- spice mix (I used a tsp of cumin and a pinch of ground chili)
- optional – frozen or canned corn
- 1 cup quinoa (I used three-color quinoa)
- 1 scallion
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
This is super easy. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking pan. Split the peppers in half and remove seeds and any white membrane. Arrange the pepper halves in the pan so that they lie flat and support one another.
Dice the small onion and slice the scallion – put them in separate piles. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and grease lightly. Sauté the onion until it softens. Crumble in the vegetarian ground beef, add the corn if using, sprinkle with spices, and stir to blend. Once everything is combined and warm, taste and adjust. Remove from heat. Spoon the filling into the peppers. Cover and bake for approximately 20 minutes (more or less depending upon how firm you like your peppers).
Meanwhile … rinse the quinoa and cook according to directions. Once the quinoa has absorbed all the water, quickly stir in the scallions, cover the quinoa again, and let steam for 5-10 minutes).
When you are ready to plate, scoop the avocado flesh into a small bowl, squeeze the juice of 1/4 lime over it, and roughly mash with a fork. Plate everything and garnish with fresh cilantro, salsa, and more lime.
NOTE: vegetarian “meats” are often salted, and conventional taco seasoning (which you can use to season the filling) often contains a significant amount of salt.
What to do with leftovers? Taco salad! I used spring mix, blue corn chips, diced avocado, leftover quinoa and taco filling, and salsa. Even better the next day – and a better photo too!