Work the plant-based trend into your menu with these colorful filled peppers that are protein-rich with edamame, yellow split peas, brown rice, and optional pumpkin seeds.
They are a satisfying and nutritious entrée that may be reheated and served hot or at room temperature. Serve them alone or drizzled with sauce.
Yield: 6 peppers
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Shelf Life: 3 days
¾ cup brown rice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 medium-large red, orange, yellow, or green bell peppers, tops, seeds, and membranes removed
½ cup dried yellow split peas
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup ½-inch diced butternut squash
2 tablespoons honey
¾ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus a few for garnish
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ½-inch diced zucchini
¾ cup shelled frozen edamame, defrosted
½ cup diced canned tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice and grated zest of 1 lime
¾ cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves to garnish
¼ cup dried currants
Sauce 1 cup plain yogurt or vegan substitute
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste
- In a small pan, combine the rice with 2 1/4 cups lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid; stir in the turmeric and cinnamon.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the peppers for 3 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain with the cut ends down. Return the water to a boil. Add the split peas and cook until almost soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and drain. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Wipe out the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, heat over medium-high heat, add the butternut squash, and sauté until lightly colored, about 5 minutes, turning often. Add the honey, turning to coat, then stir in the scallions, garlic, a teaspoon of salt, the Aleppo pepper, and black pepper to taste. Add the remaining oil and zucchini and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, tomatoes, and thyme.
- Once the rice is cooked, stir in the split peas and combine with the squash mixture. Add the lime juice and zest, cilantro, and currants. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
- Fill the peppers with the stuffing, place in a baking dish just large enough to hold them upright, and add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan. Cover and bake until the peppers are quite tender, about an hour or longer if the pepper walls are quite thick. Remove and let stand.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, and Sriracha. Drizzle over the peppers, if desired.