Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers




I do not think it is a secret, especially to his wife, that my favorite person in the world, to cook for, is Marcial. Both he and his son eat with gusto; Marcial is adventurous, in general, but also with food and is always willing to try anything I come up with – I am sure that him swimming and running and playing baseball and all of the rest also allow him to eat whatever he wants without worry, but overall, it is a true delight to set a table before him and not have to worry about fat or carbs or sugar or salt!  However, as a person who does not have his much admired vigor, on the field, I completely understand that most of us have diet restrictions, unfortunately.

Around Christmas time, I hosted a very special luncheon, in my home; I knew I had to make a vegan and gluten free menu, which initially perplexed me, until I settled on a modified version of a Cuban Christmas dinner. I did not make roast pork, but rice, beans, yucca, plantains, salad, and fresh fruit, and it was actually a satisfying meal; I did not put bacon in my black beans but they were quite tasty – a new chapter opened in my kitchen!

I know, you could not possibly have expected anything vegan to come from my kitchen, me neither; but I have now made several dishes without meat or dairy, including stuffed bell peppers. I have found that the secret to cooking vegan dishes is even more spices than I normally add to my food, which is quite a lot, I know, and generous portions of olive oil!



2 cups of cooked Rice



1 large can of Tomato Sauce

1 medium can of Crushed Tomato

1 small can of Tomato Puree

1 ½ cups of Vegetable Stock

4 Bay Leaves

1 large Onion – finely minced

2 stalks of Celery – sliced or diced very fine

The tops of the Bell Peppers, finely diced

4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

2 teaspoons of Thyme

2 tablespoons of Marjoram

2 tablespoons of Oregano

2 tablespoon of Celery Seed

½ cup of Basil – fresh if possible

Salt and Pepper




¼ of a Green Cabbage – shredded

4 medium size zucchini – shredded

4 large carrots – peeled and shredded

1 large Onion – diced

½ cup of fresh Parsley – finely chopped

2 teaspoons of Garlic – diced

4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper


Make 1 cup of dry rice, which will yield 2 cups of cooked rice, in your rice cooker, or the day ahead, reserve till later.

After you put on the rice, make the sauce.  In a large stock pot, sauté onions in olive oil, for about five minutes, until they are translucent, and then add all of the herbs, except the basil, letting them cook for a minute or two before adding the tomato products and stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, to low, and let it simmer for at least an hour; during which time you should stir and remove any red “foam” which comes to the top of the pot.

While the sauce is cooking, wash and prepare the vegetables; begin sautéing the onion first, in the olive oil, and then add the carrots, cabbage and zucchini last. You will want them to cook until they are all tender and become incorporated with each other, add all herbs, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cooked rice and sautéed vegetables, taste and add more seasonings as needed.

Wash and remove the seeds and veins from the bell peppers, and then generously stuff the peppers with the rice and vegetable mixture.

Place the stuffed peppers on a bed of sauce, and by all means add sauce to the top of the stuffed pepper, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

In the future, for even more taste and texture, I might try this recipe with either wild rice or brown rice.


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