Stuffed vegetables have always been a huge favourite of mine, and I have to admit I was inspired in the early days by my mother who frequently stuffed them Greek style (Yemistes), and by my vegetarian father-in-law who used to cook a lot of Rose Elliott’s recipes – very well, I might add. However, I must also admit I have been served my fair share of really poor stuffed veggies over the years – half-cooked aubergines with a dried up nut filling and no sauce, etc. – I think you get the picture. In other words, for stuffed veggies to really work, you need to be sure you’ve got the right flavour balance, that the filling is moist enough, and most of all, that the tastes really hit the mark. I hope I’ve achieved it with this dish !
INGREDIENTS FOR THE STUFFING
1 cup vegan mince of your choice
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp Spice Maniac mix (available from The Spice Maniac Shop)
¼ cup crushed roasted nuts of your choice (I used peanuts)
½ tsp turmeric powder
the filling of 3 zucchini (see below for method)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 cup pre-cooked or tinned cannellini beans
¾ tsp aniseed powder
the zest of a lemon
¼ tsp asafoetida
2 tsp light miso
around 2 Tbsp water
INGREDIENTS FOR THE VEGGIES
4 zucchini/courgettes, cut horizontally, and using a teaspoon, the filling scooped out and set aside
1 yellow/red/orange bell pepper (yes, I know it’s not in the title) cut it in half horizontally in readiness for stuffing (remove seeds with your hands)
1 medium sized red onion, halved and cut into rings
fresh parsley or coriander, to garnish
a few drizzles of olive oil, prior to baking
3 or so red chillies, cut julienne
METHOD FOR THE FILLING AND ASSEMBLING
Having scraped out the filling from the zucchini, and set aside, it’s time to make the filling.
Heat up your oil, and add the onions and garlic – mix until transparent, then add the spices, mix well, and add the remaining ingredients. Use half the nuts at this point and reserve the rest for the garnish before baking – do not add the water yet, and mix well again.
Finally, when all has been incorporated, add the water. Taste for seasoning and then allow to cool down.
Heat your oven to 180 degrees. 355ºF (180ºC).
Lay out your zucchini and pepper ‘shells’ in a suitable oven tray, and using a teaspoon, carefully spoon on the stuffing – evenly filling all your veggies.
Drizzle olive oil on top, and make sure your chillies are placed in between the veggies as per the picture – add your onion here and there, and finish off with a sprinkle of the nuts and garnish with your parsley.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the courgette/zucchini slightly softens.
Serve with my ‘Super Umami Manic Potatoes’ – still to make, but the ingredients for that recipe will be a mixture of white potatoes and sweet potatoes, rubbed in a mixture of my Spice Maniac mix (failing that 1 tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp nutritional yeast), olive oil and sea salt – then bake until golden !
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
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