A simple, tasty dinner made with summer garden veggies, couscous, and an easy blend of seasonings
Time for some healthy eating in our kitchens!! These vegan stuffed peppers are inspired by all the delicious veggies we might find in our gardens this time of year. Although I’m currently living up that apartment life with a tiny herb garden, growing up I remember helping (marginally) with a large summer garden in our backyard. Zucchini and tomato plants would just dip over under the weight of the huge veggies on their branches. And boy, those veggies were so fresh and delicious!
These stuffed peppers have those awesome tomatoes and zucchini slices, plus mushrooms and red onions. I chose couscous for the grain in these peppers, which is just amazing with the oregano and basil. And if you’re gluten-free, simply sub the couscous for a gluten-free alternative like quinoa! That would work great.
So, you’ve basically got veggies and couscous and a simple seasoning and that’s one seriously well-balanced and healthy meal! And, y’all, if you’re sitting there wondering if you’ve ever even eaten a vegan meal before and the word vegan just instantly sounds unappealing to you, let me assure you: this dish tastes GOOD. Flavorful, fresh veggies. Soft, roasted texture. Perfectly, complementary spices. This meal is a winner for everyone (even meat and dairy lovers).
And, if you need just a little extra on top and are not sticking with a vegan diet, sprinkle a little parmesan on top – it’s a fun added flavor!
I gotta brag on the EASE of this meal too. Y’all, I’ve been working full-time for three months now, since graduating with my bachelor’s in May, and I’m starting to really want those easy 30-minute dinners when I get home from a long day at work (even when you love your job, that doesn’t mean you want to spend two hours in the kitchen every night!)
I think this is really a 15-minute dinner. Prep is 15 minutes TOPS. Seriously, couscous are made in five minutes. You can start cutting your veggies while the couscous are cooking and then add your tomato sauce, olive oil, and spices. Toss it in the oven. I bet you can do it in 10. And yes, these have to cook for 50 minutes. But you don’t have to do anything with that time except sit back and relax and smell the goodness of vegan stuffed peppers flowing from your kitchen.
- ⅓ cup uncooked couscous
- ⅓ cup water, boiling
- ½ zucchini, sliced and quartered
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, chopped or sliced
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- A pinch of salt
- 2 red bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9x9 glass pan, pour a few tablespoons of water.
- Place your uncooked couscous in a medium bowl and cover with ⅓ cup boiling water. Give it a quick stir and cover and allow to sit for five minutes. Then, fluff with a fork.
- Add the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and red onion to the bowl with the couscous. Stir to combine.
- Drizzle the tomato sauce and olive oil over the couscous and veggies. Then, add the spices (oregano, basil, pepper, and salt) and stir.
- Fill the halved peppers with the mixture until slightly overflowing. Place in the pan with the water on the bottom. Drizzle the tops of the peppers with a bit of olive oil and cover the pan with foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional five minutes. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy.
Not vegan? Add some parmesan cheese on top.
If you try these vegan stuffed peppers, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!
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