Vegan Stuffed Peppers / Veganske punjene paprike

Late summer and early autumn inevitably mean that stuffed peppers are simmering away on every corner. With their unmistakable aroma, you simply can’t miss them. I’ve already posted a recipe a while back for a regular omnivore version of this dish, but decided to play around and see if I can make stuffed peppers vegan.

Let me tell you, this recipe will not disappoint. The taste is spot on. However, the consistency of the filling is pretty delicate, since there aren’t any eggs in the mixture to hold it all together. If you are a vegetarian and not a vegan, feel free to add an egg or two to the mix as well. I haven’t tried out vegan egg alternatives in this recipe so can’t be sure if vegan eggs would help to bind things. If you happen to give it a go, please let me know how it turned out.

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INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 5 generous servings / 0.89 EUR per serving / 4.46 EUR for all)

½ cup red lentils (0.33 EUR)

½ cup dried soya flakes (0.20 EUR)

1 tsp Gochujang – Korean chili paste (0.03 EUR)

2 bay leaves (0.03 EUR)

4 garlic cloves (0.13 EUR)

Good pinch of salt (0.01 EUR)

Good pinch of freshly ground black pepper (0.03 EUR)

3 cups vegetable broth (0.30 EUR)

10 bell peppers (2.00 EUR)

1 onion (0.10 EUR)

½ cup uncooked rice (0.07 EUR)

2 tbsp sunflower seed oil (0.03 EUR)

2 tbsp mustard (0.13 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

1 tsp smoked paprika (0.07 EUR)

2 tbsp dried parsley (0.13 EUR)

3 cups tomato puree (0.80 EUR)

1 cup water (–)

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METHOD:

Rinse lentils in a colander, then add to a pot together with soya flakes, Gochujang, bay leaves, crushed peeled garlic cloves, salt, pepper and veggie broth. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Pick out and discard bay leaves and set aside.

Meanwhile, while soy and lentils are cooking, wash the peppers and carefully cut out and discard their stems and seeds. Peel and finely dice the onion. Once the lentils and soy are done, stir in diced onion, rice, oil, mustard, Hungarian and smoked paprika and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stuff the peppers with this mix and arrange in a pot in single layer. Stir together water and tomato puree and pour over arranged peppers. It is okay if the peppers are still peeking a bit from the liquid since the steam in a pot will enable them to cook through.

Place the pot with peppers on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, tightly cover with a lid and cook undisturbed for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with mashed potatoes.

These also reheat well and will make a great meal prep option.

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Kasno ljeto i rana jesen bez iznimke znače da se punjene paprike krčkaju na svakom koraku. Sa njihovom nezamjenjivom aromom, jednostavno ih ne možete fulati. Već sam davno objavila recept za klasične punjene paprike za svejede, no ove sam se godine odlučila poigrati i probati napraviti vegansku verziju.

I odmah da vam kažem, okus je baš kakav treba biti. Jedina je razlika u konzistenciji, jer su ove paprike puno delikatnije pošto u smjesi nema jajeta koje bi sve povezalo. Ako ste vegetarijanac, a ne vegan, slobodno u smjesu dodajte još koje jaje. Nisam pokušavala ovo napraviti i sa veganskim alternativama za jaje, pa ne znam da li bi one fukcionirale jednako dobro u povezivanju stvari. Ako se slučajno odlučite to isprobati, obazevno mi javite kako vam je ispalo.

SASTOJCI:

(Za 5 izdašnih porcija / 6,68 kn po porciji / 33,41 kn za sve)

½ šalice crvene leće (2,50 kn)

½ šalice sojinih ljuskica (1,50 kn)

1 žličica Gochujanga – korejske čili paste (0,25 kn)

2 lovorova lista (0,20 kn)

4 češnja češnjaka (1,00 kn)

Dobar prstohvat soli (0,01 kn)

Dobar prstohvat svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,25 kn)

3 šalice povrtnog temeljca (2,25 kn)

10 paprika babura (15,00 kn)

1 luk (0,75 kn)

½ šalice nekuhane riže (0,50 kn)

2 žlice suncokretovog ulja (0,20 kn)

2 žlice senfa (1,00 kn)

1 žlica slatke crvene paprike (0,50 kn)

1 žličica dimljene paprike (0,50 kn)

2 žlice sušenog peršina (1,00 kn)

3 šalice pasirane rajčice (6,00 kn)

1 šalica vode (–)

PRIPREMA:

Isperite leću u cjediljci pa ju ubacite u lonac skupa sa sojinim ljuskicama, čili pastom, lovorom, oguljenim i sjeckanim češnjakom, solju, paprom i temeljcem. Pustite da zavrije pa kuhajte otklopljeno 20-tak minuta, dok sva tekućina ne nestane. Izvadite i bacite lovor, pa sve stavite na stranu.

U međuvremenu, dok vam se soja i leća kuhaju, operite i pažljivo očistite paprike od peteljki i koštica. Ogulite i sitno nasjeckajte luk. Kada su soja i leća gotove, umiješajte u njih sjeckani luk, rižu, ulje, senf, slatku i dimljenu papriku i peršin. Kušajte i prilagodite začine po potrebi. Paprike punite dobivenom smjesom te ih u jednom redu poslažite po dnu lonca. Pomiješaje pasiranu rajčicu sa vodom, pa time zalijte paprike. Nema veze ako vam paprike malo vire iz tekućine jer će se ionako skuhati od pare u loncu.

Lonac s paprikama stavite na jaku vatru i pustite da zavrije. Smanjite vatru na skroz lagano, čvrsto poklopite i tako kuhajte 30-40 minuta bez ikakvog miješanja. Poslužite toplo sa pire krumpirom.

Ovo jelo se također super podgrijava, pa je izvrsna opcija za prirediti unaprijed i ponijeti na posao.

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Vegan Stuffed Peppers / Veganske punjene paprike

Baked Stuffed Peppers in Tomato Sauce / Pečene punjene paprika u umaku od rajčice

A summer without stuffed peppers is in my humble opinion no summer at all. Yeah, sure, there might be sun and excess sweating involved, you might even dip your toes into the sea, but the smell of stuffed pepper cooking is what really gives the summer that familiar feeling. I usually cook the peppers in a pot, but this time decided to try making them in the oven to get that nice charred kick. This dish holds in the fridge for a few days and reheats great, so don’t be shy and cook up more in advance.

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INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 8 peppers / 0.81 EUR per pepper / 6.50 EUR for all)

8 large green peppers (1.33 EUR)

500 grams ground turkey (3.33 EUR)

1 large onion, diced (0.10 EUR)

3 garlic cloves, minced (0.10 EUR)

2 cups precooked rice (0.20 EUR)

1 egg (0.20 EUR)

1 tsp salt (0.01 EUR)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (0.03 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

2 tbsp dried parsley (0.13 EUR)

3 cups tomato sauce (1.00 EUR)

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METHOD:

Preheat oven to 200°C. Wash peppers and carefully carve the stems and seeds out. In a bowl mix together turkey, onion, garlic, rice, egg, salt, pepper, paprika and parsley. Stuff the filling into carved peppers and arrange peppers in an oven-safe dish so the carved sides are turned upwards. Pour tomato sauce around peppers, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for an hour. After one hour carefully (Watch out for the steam!) remove the foil and bake peppers for additional 20-30 minutes, until the tops get crispy and slightly charred. Serve hot with mashed, boiled or roasted potatoes.

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Ljeto bez punjenih paprika po mojem skromnom mišljenju uopće nije ljeto. Da, da, možda bude sunca i prekomjernog znojenja. Možda čak umočite prste u more. Ali miris paprika koje se kuhaju ili peku je ono što ljetu daje onaj poznati osjećaj. Punjene paprike obično radim u loncu na štednjaku, ali sam se ovaj puta odlučila da ih probam napraviti u pečnici da dobijem onaj fini zapečeni šmek. Ovo jelo možete par dana čuvati u hladnjaku, a pošto se super podgrijava, nemojte se sramiti i skuhajte više.

SASTOJCI:

(Za 8 paprika / 6,10 kn po paprici / 48,76 kn za sve)

8 velikih paprika babura (10,00 kn)

500 g mljevene puretine (25,00 kn)

1 veliki luk, sitno nasjeckan (0,75 kn)

3 češnja češnjaka, sitno nasjeckana (0,75 kn)

2 šalice kuhane riže (1,50 kn)

1 jaje (1,50 kn)

1 žličica soli (0,01 kn)

1 žličica svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,25 kn)

1 žlica slatke crvene paprike (0,50 kn)

2 žlice sušenog peršina (1,00 kn)

3 šalice pasirane rajčice (7,50 kn)

PRIPREMA:

Zagrijte pećnicu na 200°C. Operite paprike i pažljivo im izdubite peteljke i koštice. U zdjeli pomiješajte puretinu, luk, češnjak, rižu, jaje, sol, papar, crvenu papriku i peršin. Izdubljene paprike napunite smjesom te ih poslažite u dubljem protvanu, tako da izdubljeni dio gleda prema gore. Oko paprika izlijte pasiranu rajčicu, pokrijte posudu aluminijskom folijom, te pecite sat vremena. Nakon sat vremena pažljivo (Pazite se pare!) maknite foliju pa pecite još dodatnih 20-30 minuta, dok se paprike po vrhu lijepo ne zapeku. Poslužite vruće sa pire krumpirom, ili pak kuhanim ili pečenim krumpirima.

Baked Stuffed Peppers in Tomato Sauce / Pečene punjene paprika u umaku od rajčice

Stuffed Peppers / Punjene paprike

You know it’s autumn in Zagreb when you’re walking down the street and whole neighborhoods smell of stuffed peppers simmering. It makes me want to just randomly invite myself to peoples’ apartments and sit down at their table. Feed me your peppers, yo! I am crazy about this dish. It’s perfect – warm, hearty, filling, tasty, simple. And, you can make a humongous batch and freeze for later, which I always do. More often than not, my ambitions exceed the capacities of my pots. There’s always something spilling and bubbling over, because I’ve filled the pot to the brim. What can I say, I have a problem.

The key to making fantastic stuffed peppers is in two things: picking out the right peppers and picking out the right meat. Pick out peppers that are big, meaty and with intense smell. They don’t need to look perfect. You’re not gonna force them into a beauty pageant. Mine were all spotty and overripe. Petals were dark brown with a bit of gunk here and there. In other words, they were just right.

When it comes to meat, try to avoid buying prepackaged ground meats. Ever. That’s just not the right way to do ground meat. Supermarket ground meat is filled with preservatives to extend its shelf life. No one knows how long it’s been minced and hanging around. I won’t even go into the abyss off imagining from how many animals and which body parts it came from. I really think that ground meat should be used up on the same day it was minced. So, if you can’t mince it yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you and use it up on the same day.

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Okay, now that we’ve got these important questions out of the way, let’s do some stuffed peppers!

INGRIDIENTS:

(Yields 14 stuffed peppers / 1.03 EUR per stuffed pepper / 14.55 EUR for the whole batch)

14 large bell peppers – around 2 kilos (2.13 EUR)

1.5 kilo of mixed ground beef and pork – 50:50 (10.66 EUR)

1 large egg (0.20 EUR)

1 large onion, finely diced (0.13 EUR)

4 garlic cloves, minced (0.13 EUR)

1 chili pepper, seeds discarded, then finely diced (0.07 EUR)

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped (0.13 EUR)

½ cup rice (0.07 EUR)

1 ½ tsp salt (0.01 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (0.01 EUR)

½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper (0.01 EUR)

1 kilo tomato puree – 2 boxes (0.93 EUR)

Warm water to submerge the peppers – around 1 liter (–)

METHOD:

Wash peppers and remove stem and seeds with a small paring knife. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix ground meat with egg, diced onion, minced garlic, diced chilly, chopped parsley, rice, salt, paprika, cayenne and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Stuff prepared peppers with the filling and neatly arrange in a deep pot. Once all the filling and peppers are used up, pour tomato puree over. As necessary, add warm water until most of the peppers are submerged. Don’t worry if they are peeking out here and there, as they will cook through from the steam within the pot.

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Simmer on medium heat for two hours, with lid cracked open, so extra steam can escape. There is no need to stir this dish at all, as peppers are lighter than liquid and will float above the pot bottom, hence escaping the peril of ending burned.

Once cooked, serve with mashed potatoes.

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This dish freezes and reheats tremendously and tastes even better on the second day.


Znate da je jesen u Zagrebu kada cijeli kvartovi mirišu po punjenim paprikama. Od toga mi dođe da banem ljudima doma i samo se sparkiram za njihov stol. Dajte mi vaše paprike! Luda sam za ovim jelom jer je savršeno – toplo, domaće, zasitno, fino i jednostavno. I možete napraviti gargantuansku porciju i onda smrznuti za crne dane, a što ja uvijek napravim. Često moje ambicije premašuju kapacitete mojih lonaca. Uvijek mi nešto iskipi jer natrpam previše paprika. Što reći, imam problem.

Dvije su stvari ključne kod toga da paprike ispadnu fantastične: prave paprike i pravo meso. Uzmite paprike koje su debele, mesnate i intenzivnog mirisa. Ne moraju izgledati savršeno jer ih nećete natjerati na izbor za miss. Moje su bile točkaste i prezrele. Peteljke su bile smeđe i povenute, sa mjestima koje je trebalo izrezati van. Drugim riječima, bile su savršene.

Kada je u pitanju meso, probajte izbjegavati pakirano faširano meso. Uvijek. Dućansko faširano meso puno je konzervansa da može dulje stajati na polici. Nitko nema pojma o tome kada je smljeveno. Neću ni ulaziti u priču od koliko je životinja napravljeno i kojih sve njihovih dijelova. Mislim da je najbolje faširano meso iskoristiti isti dan kada je smljeveno. Ako ne možete sami samljeti meso, zamolite mesara da vam to napravi od komada koje ste izabrali i iskoristite ga obavezno isti dan.

Okej, sada kada smo riješili ove bitne stavke, idemo puniti paprike!

SASTOJCI:

(Za 14 punjenih paprika / 7,80 kn po punjenoj paprici / 109,16 kn za sve)

14 velikih paprika babura – oko 2 kg (16,00 kn)

1,5 kg miješanog mljevenog junećeg i svinjskog mesa – 50:50 (80,00 kn)

1 jaje (1,50 kn)

1 veliki luk, sitno nasjeckan (1,00 kn)

4 češnja češnjaka, sitno nasjeckana (1,00 kn)

1 čili papričica, sjemenke bačene, pa sitno nasjeckana (0,50 kn)

1 svežanj peršina, sitno nasjeckan (1,00 kn)

½ šalice riže (0,50 kn)

1 ½ žličica soli (0,01 kn)

1 žlica slatke paprike (0,50 kn)

¼ žličice kajenskog papra (ili ljute paprike) (0,10 kn)

½ žličice svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,05 kn)

1 kg pasirane rajčice – 2 tetrapaka (7,00 kn)

Tople vode da paprike budu potopljene – oko 1 litra (–)

PRIPREMA:

Operite paprike i nožićem im odstranite peteljke i koštice. U velikoj zdjeli rukama dobro izmješajte mljeveno meso, jaje, nasjeckane luk, češnjak, čili i peršin, rižu, sol, slatku papriku, kajenski papar i crni papar dok se svi sastojci ne prožmu. Punite paprike smjesom i uredno slažite u duboki lonac. Kada ste iskoristili svu smjesu i paprike, prelijte sve pasiranom rajčicom i dodajte vode dok paprike uglavnom nisu potopljene. Nema veze ako malo i strše van jer će se skuhati od pare u loncu.

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Krčkajte na srednje jakoj vatri dva sata, sa poklopcem mrvicu odškrinutim da višak pare može izaći van. Nema potrebe uopće miješati jer su paprike lakše od tekućine pa će se odignuti od dna lonca i neće zagoriti.

Kada su paprike kuhane, poslužite ih sa pire krumpirom.

Ovo se jelo super smrzava i podgrijava, a još je finije idući dan.

Stuffed Peppers / Punjene paprike