Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
This recipe is very common where I come from, except it's not vegan originally. Of course I had to remedy that as soon as possible. It takes a little longer to put together, but I assure you, it is well worth your time. I usually make 3 stuffed peppers, but you can always adapt quantities to make more or less. Ingredients below.
For the stuffed peppers:
- 1 large onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 large eggplant (600-800g)
- 1 cup buckwheat, soaked overnight, rinsed
- 3 bell peppers (these are a bit bigger, but you can use any type of sweet pepper)
- olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp chickpea flour
- Parsley, freshly chopped
For the tomato sauce:
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup organic tomato paste
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground sweet red paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 liter (around 4 cups) hot water
(*Tip: If you have some tomato juice on hand, it's not a bad thing.)
For the mashed potato:
- 4-5 potatoes peeled, chopped
- salt water
- 2 tbsp vegan margarine/butter
- 1/4 cup oat milk
- Start by peeling and dicing your eggplant. Make the bits small, they will cook faster. Put the eggplant in a bowl, sprinkle over a teaspoon of salt, toss and let sit for about 15 minutes to half an hour. This eliminates the bitterness from the eggplant.
- Meanwhile dice the onion and garlic. Also chop the parsley - set it aside.
- Clean the peppers. Wash them and cut off the tops to remove the seeds. Save the tops if you like.
- Put some olive oil in a heated pan. Add the onions. When they are turning brown, add the garlic, rinse the eggplant and add it to the pan. Add salt and pepper, stir every so often, keep on medium heat.
- If you're a multitasking cook, you can start making the tomato sauce at this point. Otherwise prepare the filling first, then the sauce. Prepare a pot, big enough for the three bell peppers you have prepared. Bring it to heat and add the olive oil, then the flour - the oil and flour make a smooth mix which thickens the sauce, so make sure there are no lumps (add oil or flour if necessary). Add the tomato paste when you see bubbles forming. Stir to break down the lump that has formed, add the sugar, ground paprika, salt, a pinch of basil and oregano. Pour in the water and start to stir; you can use a whisk to break any lumps.
- Now add the buckwheat and parsley to the eggplant, stir and taste, adjust if necessary. The tomato sauce is probably starting to thicken - cook it for about 10 minutes, taste, adjust (add more sugar if too acidic or salt if needed) and also see if you are satisfied with the thickness of the sauce. It should be nice and glossy, smooth, slightly sweet.
- Now that you are satisfied with your sauce, fill up those peppers. Taste the filling, add a pinch of salt and chickpea flour, and mix together. Fill the peppers and cover them with the tops if you want. You can secure them with toothpicks.
- Arrange the peppers into the tomato sauce pot - tops up, cover and let simmer for about an hour on low heat.
- While the peppers are making your kitchen smell heavenly, peel the potatoes, cut them up and cook them in salty water until soft (about 20-30 minutes). For a really creamy mash I like to use the starchy kind, so the less watery the better. When cooked, strain the potatoes; add in the margarine and oat milk, if you have some rice whip or other plant based creamy thickeners, you can add a tablespoon or so. Mash it until really smooth, but don't whip it or puree it. Taste and adjust.
Your peppers should be ready by now so dig in.