Monday, October 16, 2023

Vegan Stuffed Peppers - Israeli Style

Cooking pot filled with bell peppers stuffed with rice, vegan

Vegan stuffed peppers are colorful, tasty, and nutritious. I love this easy Israeli-style recipe that I originally tasted and then recorded when I visited my sister-In Law on our recent trip to Israel (June 2023). 

Middle Eastern recipes call for lots of health-giving flavorful spices. My SIL uses fresh garlic, fresh cilantro (you could substitute parsley), fresh lemon juice, mild jalapeรฑo pepper, and chopped Roma tomatoes. 

Garlic Fresh photo and picture

She adds all the herbs, spices, and juice to uncooked rice, stirs and allows it to marinate for an hour before stuffing and cooking the peppers. 

Free Cilantro Herbs photo and picture


I was in Whole Foods Market the other day and I spied a bag of  orange, red, and yellow organic bell peppers. The price was right- $5 for the bag entire bag of seven peppers. (Two years ago I might have thought it was pricey, but I've become accustomed to the escalation of our food prices). As soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to make stuffed peppers.

Free Bell Peppers Red Bell Peppers photo and picture

The peppers were rather easy to make once the stuffing was marinating. I simply cut off the top of each pepper, cleaned out the seeds, and added the rice mixture to each pepper. 

Free Lemon Fruit photo and picture

However, I made some additions to my SIL's original recipe. 

bowl with raw rice and seasoning, vegan
There was much more than this. I forgot to take the photo until after I had already started 
stuffing the peppers!

Why? 
The produce (which is grown and harvested in Israel) is much tastier than the produce in the US that is shipped here from all over the world and picked before it is ripened. I felt I needed to add some ingredients to my recipe to enhance the flavors somewhat.

skillet with stuffed peppers, vegan

I cooked the stuffed peppers on the stovetop in a deep skillet (covered) until the rice was well cooked.

Once the stuffed peppers were fully cooked and the flavors blended together, I transferred the peppers and sauce to a casserole dish for serving.

Casserole with vegan stuffed peppers


I ate these hearty peppers with other cooked vegetables, but you could use them as a side dish as your starch.  

Ingredients: 
7 colorful medium bell peppers 
2 cups of white rice, washed well (you could sub brown rice)
2 cups of chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice 
2 cups of chopped Roma plum tomatoes (about 4 tomatoes)
5 cloves of fresh garlic, pressed 
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1 jar of chunky mild salsa
1 20 ounce jar of marinara sauce ( I use Whole Foods365 organic fat free)
2 cups of water. 


Directions: 
Wash the peppers, slice off the top, clean out the seeds and set aside. 
Place the rice, cilantro, tomatoes garlic, garlic powder, in a bowl and mix well. Allow to sit for 1 hour to marinate.
When done marinating, add the salsa and mix. Stuff the peppers with this mixture and place in a small dutch oven type pot or deep skillet. Cover with marinara sauce and water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, covered for about 45 minutes (check to prevent burning adding 1/4 cup of water if needed) or until all rice is soft. Remove from the dutch oven pot or skillet and place in a casserole dish to serve. 


My Notes: 
When our Israeli relatives visit us, they are always baffled by our grocery store produce which is not usually locally in season. It looks so good, but it doesn't always have much of a flavor. For example, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes. In Israel, the produce is grown locally and usually picked ripe, so the flavors are always like a backyard summer tomato here. (Israel has a warm climate and is a small country about the size of New Jersey)

May be an image of 1 person and text that says '"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." -Albert Einstein'
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This recipe is a whole food plant-based oil-free recipe that is also gluten free. All of my recipes on my blog are gluten-free. They have always been vegetarian and as of 2021 they are vegan and oil-free
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A Thought for Stressful Times
Stress depletes our body's reserves of vitamins. I was reading that at times of high stress, it is important to take extra vitamin C and zinc ( always check with your doctor first) and B vitamins. Of course sleep is also essential too; it is when our body heals. 

13 comments:

  1. They look so colourful and I bet it's tasty too. I too don't eat over processed so called vegetable oil, but I do get my fat intake from animals. What fat do you consume? Coconut, olive oil? That's probably the only two non-animal fats I eat occasionally. You do NEED fat...I usually eat 100 grams of fat per day, sometimes up to 140 grams if I exercise really hard. Fat doesn't make you fat, carbs makes you fat.

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  2. You are so right about the veggies/fruits in US grocery stores. Many other countries produce is so much healthier and tastier than what we can find here. That is why I try to preserve as much as I can from summer to have during the winter.

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  3. I had terrible luck with my peppers this summer. I grew six different varieties, all different colors, and half of them didn’t produce. I still have two peppers on the vine, and I’m waiting for them to turn orange before bringing them in. I love Israeli salad, so I’m certain that I would enjoy this dish as well. I like those cups, by the way. :-)

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  4. I wish I liked peppers when they are cooked but alas, only when raw. I've tried. They always look so pretty -- it's a great presentation!

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  5. What lively flavors -- lively colors, too! I'm happy to see you featuring my two favorite cups from your collection as well.

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  6. Beautiful recipe and a bit about family. These are troubling times. And I hope they are over soon, bless all until then.

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  7. I love stuffed vegetables, peppers particularly, but I haven't made any in a long time - thanks for a delicious reminder! Great combination of flavours... Well I'll take parsley instead of cilantro for myself :)

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  8. These look so delicious, Judee! So fresh! My mother used to make the best stuffed peppers. xoxo

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  9. I only buy locally grown produce. In the Netherlands bell peppers are grown in hot houses so the cost is very high. However, tomatoes in South Africa are not as tasty as in Israel or southern Europe.

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  10. Your stuffed bell peppers look so delicious. I remember my Mom making these from time to time. I forgot about adding the rice. Those coffee cups are delightful. I love the Albert Einstein quote, and I've been thinking a lot about that as well.

    Have a very nice week.

    ~Sheri

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  11. A delicious recipe...I love stuffed bell peppers.....Abrazotes, Marcela

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  12. What can I say? You make peppers pop! I didn't know that Israel is about the size of New Jersey. But it doesn't surprise me that our supermarket produce here in the States is far from fresh. Finally, such wise words from Einstein. Hopefully, someone is listening. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿงก๐ŸŒŽ

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