My household is as far from being vegetarian as coyotes love carrots. We try. Even my finicky shark. He says he doesn’t like meat, but he inhales tacos like they were the best food on the planet. Well actually they are, but that’s not what we are talking about here.
I was just as excited to do another review as I was the first time!
This time I decided to try Debbie’s Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes. My husband said these were “delicious and filling” and he is the biggest meat eater in the house.
The recipe states you can substitute lean ground beef for the mushrooms and zucchini, but no need here! The vegetables were so delicious my son had me make the rice filling again this week.
The one and only change I did with this recipe was substitute the brown rice for wild rice. And these peppers were wildly yummy.
For more tempting Greek recipes from Debbie, be sure to visit the other bloggers during this celebration!
But for now, check out how I made these delicious stuffed peppers!
Gather your ingredients.
Prepare your rice.
Scoop out your veggies for stuffing.
Sautee your filling veggies.
And combine them with the rice.
Stuff the peppers and tomatoes.
Put a bit of water on the bottom, stick them in the oven and be ready for deliciousness in about an hour.
I served my stuffed veggies with some fresh mozzarella and brined olives. Yummy!
Check out the GIVEAWAY below the recipe! >>>>>>>>>>>>
Here is Debbie’s recipe, direct from her cookbook, reprinted with permission from the publisher.
Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes
Growing up, I loved coming home after Greek school and walking through the door to the smell of my mom’s gemista. I can still recognize that smell anywhere. It’s very nostalgic for me and always makes my mouth water! My vegan version of this classic dish uses brown rice instead of white rice and mushrooms and zucchini as a healthy, low-fat substitute for the traditional beef. Brown rice is more nutritious, tends to hold up better, and adds a subtle, nutty flavor.
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
4 large bell peppers of various colors (green, red, yellow, or orange)
2 large tomatoes
2 Tb tomato paste diluted in 1 cup water
3/4 pound sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
1/2 pound zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 Tb finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the brown rice and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the vegetable broth and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 10 minutes. Then remove lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and set aside.
Meanwhile, lightly oil a deep casserole dish large enough to hold all the peppers and tomatoes snugly so that they remain upright during baking.
Slice off and reserve the top stem ends of the bell peppers. Hollow out the peppers, removing the seeds and white pith with a small spoon or a grapefruit spoon and discarding. Slice off and reserve the top stem ends of the tomatoes. Gently squeeze the tomatoes to remove most of the seeds, then scoop the pulp into a small bowl, leaving a thin layer of tomato (about 1/4 inch) next to the skin. Stir the diluted tomato paste into the tomato pulp and set aside. Transfer the hollowed-out tomatoes and peppers to the prepared casserole dish. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the edges start to brown and they release their liquid, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini slices and sauté until wilted and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and the pepper. Stir in the reserved tomato mixture and the cooked onion and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, just to let the flavors come together. At this point, the mixture should be moist but not soupy. If it is too loose, simmer it a little longer to evaporate a bit more of the liquid, being careful not to overcook the rice. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and the mint. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Generously stuff the tomatoes and bell peppers with the rice mixture. Replace the pepper and tomato tops. The stuffing will peek out a bit. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and carefully pour the water into the bottom of the casserole. Bake, adding a little more water if necessary, for 1 to 11/4 hours or until the vegetables are tender and the tops are brown. The tomatoes and peppers should be soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Serve immediately.
Debbie’s Tip: The classic version of this dish is made with lean ground beef. My vegan version makes a savory, light supper with no saturated fat. If you do want to try it the traditional way, replace the mushrooms and zucchini with 1 pound of lean ground beef or turkey.
If you missed my last giveaway for this cookbook or would like another chance to win, the publisher is letting me give away another copy here!
*This post was sponsored by Ben Bella Books. I received a complimentary cookbook from the sponsor in exchange for my unbiased review of the cookbook It’s All Greek to Me! No additional compensation was received by me. All opinions, text, images, and recipe are my own, except for cookbook images clearly noted. This post contains affiliate links.