This pepper isn’t spicy but it sure brings unique flavors to your palette.
Stuffed peppers are no stranger in traditional cooking, but it usually assumes the role as the filling. Using pasta in a pepper is harder to come by, but it’s a fantastic way to deconstruct flavors and keep serving sizes equal. Rounded with an international touch, this dish just might be my new favorite dinner. Using a whole-wheat pasta, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes, I put together a hearty vegan stuffed pepper with some Asian inspiration.
Yellow bell peppers carry some serious street credibility. They are a great source of carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E and contain more than twice the amount of vitamin C that is found in the same serving size of orange. The sweet pepper also has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits, protects vision, wards off arthritis, reduces cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and lung cancer, and is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a natural treatment for blood circulation, indigestion, loss of appetite, swelling, frostbite, nausea, vomiting, phlegm and toxicities.
There’s no need for cheese or meat in this dish, because the flavors are bold and the satisfaction level is high. By cooking the peppers before stuffing, there is more continuity in texture, making for an overall warm and comforting meal. Enjoy!
- 4 large bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion
- 2 cups chopped Crimini mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon nama shoyu (soy sauce)
- 2 cups cooked pasta
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon capers
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare 2 cups of cooked pasta according to package instructions. All pasta types work well!
Slice off the lid of the peppers, making sure to keep the stem intact. Remove the flesh and seeds. Place them in a baking dish. If the peppers won’t stand up on their own, trim the bottoms so they are flat, without making a hole. Place the caps slightly off center so the insides cook as well. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers have softened and the edges have browned.
While the peppers are cooking, prepare the stuffing. In a large saucepan, cook the mushrooms and chopped Crimini mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with pepper. After a few minutes, add the soy sauce and mix.
When the mushrooms have browned and the onions are translucent, add the halved cherry tomatoes, capers and spinach.
Fold the mushroom mixture into the cooked pasta, which has been drained and rinsed.
Remove the peppers from the oven and stuff each one with an even amount of pasta.
Serve with the cap for presentation’s sake. There’s no proper way to eat it – pick it up and chomp or use a fork and knife. Regardless, with each bite try to get a piece of that pepper!
Aylin Erman currently resides in Istanbul and is creator of plant-based recipe website GlowKitchen.
Photo Credit: Aylin Erman