I made these rice and tempeh stuffed peppers a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t really intend to post them. The meal was one of those “clear out the fridge” concoctions, an effort to use up rice and the block of tempeh that had been hiding in my freezer for a while, as well as some frozen veggies. It was so good that Steven suggested I post it, and I couldn’t argue. This is a meal that turns simple pantry ingredients and bell peppers into something special, and it’s packed with plant protein, too. If you make the rice ahead of time, then this could certainly qualify as a “hurry up vegan” dish. And if you prepare it while you’re home doing other stuff, as I did, it actually comes together without too much fuss.
One thing I realized while making the dish is that, in spite of the pretty presentation that the peppers create, you don’t actually have to stuff peppers in the first place. The rice here is pretty tasty on its own, so if you’d like to call it a variation on dirty rice with tempeh, go for it. It’s a complete and satisfying meal just as it is.
But if you’d like to dress the simple ingredients up a bit, and transform this from a speedy weeknight supper into something that you could easily serve to neighbors or friends, try the whole stuffed pepper thing. It’s a fun way to serve the rice and pack more fiber and antioxidants into the dish.
As far as added veggies go, peas and corn are my suggestions–both of which could be fresh or frozen. Stirring in chopped broccoli florets, greens, shredded carrot, or chopped tomatoes would also be delicious. The beauty of a rice dish like this is that it’s a chance to use up what you’ve got, so don’t hesitate to modify as desired. If you don’t like tempeh, or you don’t have any, try using tofu instead, or even skillet-roasting some chickpeas in the lime juice and tamari marinade.
A final, added bonus of the recipe is that leftovers keep well, and can even be frozen for a couple weeks if you like. To serve the peppers and round out the meal, I recommend a nice, big salad–maybe something with romaine and my smoky avocado and cumin dressing to pick up the Mexican flavors! Enjoy the recipe, everyone.
A little sad news before my sign-off: remember Hamlet, my sponsor pig at Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary? I found out today that he died about six months ago; heart trouble. I feel terribly because I hadn’t visited in so long, but I’m taking comfort in the fact that his last years were spent in a loving, safe, peaceful environment.
Farm sanctuaries do such an incredible service. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to sponsor Hamlet, or how much I look forward to supporting the care of another animal. If you’re looking to do something meaningful for animals, I really recommend finding a farm sanctuary near you and paying a visit. You never know which cow, pig, turkey, goat, chicken, or goose is going to touch your heart.
Have a great evening, everyone!