These stuffed peppers with lentils are very tasty and healthy at the same time. This vegan recipe is a great way to get the proteins and vegetables in your diet.
My story of coming up with the recipe for stuffed peppers with lentils
I used to eat stuffed peppers every couple of weeks at home.
My mom would cook this recipe quite often because my family loved it, but mostly because she could make a bunch of stuffed peppers for a few days (so a kind of meal-prepping).
I always loved the flavor that peppers infuse into the filling.
But I ate this recipe with rice and vegetables.
And then, I tried to make quite the same recipe, but with lentils (just for experimenting purposes).
And I loved it.
I love it better than with rice because it is juicier. Stuffed peppers with rice are drier and less flavorful (still delicious though).
Benefits of lentils for vegans
Lentils are a great source of fiber and protein.
So, if you are vegan and you are worried about your protein intake, it is good for you to know that 100 g of lentils have 9 g of protein.
If you had as breakfast oatmeal with some pumpkin seeds and as a lunch a stuffed pepper with lentils, then you are all covered.
Also, for those of you who are concerned about calories, this legume doesn’t have too much calories. For 100 grams of boiled lentils, there are 116 kcal.
Pro-tip: The more you soak the lentils, the more benefits you will have. They will digest better and more nutrients will activate during soaking.
Tips on buying the lentils
There are many types of lentils.
Some of them are divided into halves, others are whole, integrals.
Also, you can find different colors of lentils: yellow, red, green, brown.
The taste of them is slightly different.
But the most important aspect when choosing lentils is the cooking time. It differs from one type to another.
If you prefer your lentils to cook faster and to digest easier, then choose red halves lentils.
They are my favorite ones.
Still, if you are mostly concerned about your health than cooking time, then it is important to mention that whole brown or black lentils are the healthiest ones.
Types of ingredients for stuffed peppers with lentils
Peppers: The best peppers for this recipe are bell peppers. They are bigger so more filling can be stuffed in. I find that red and yellow peppers are the best for baking. Green bell peppers get wrinkled during baking but still work.
Lentils: As written above, I used red lentils because I like the taste of them and that they cook faster than other types.
By the way, don’t forget to wash your lentils very well after soaking. They are usually very dirty. I use a sieve for this. Just add your lentils into a sieve and put under running water for 2-3 minutes.
Vegetables: This recipe requires onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms. But don’t be afraid to experiment. You can add zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, pumpkin. I just like the classic way.
Spices: This is the most important part of the recipe. For the filling, you will need garlic powder, paprika powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin. I think smoked paprika should not be omitted. If you still don’t have smoked paprika in your spice’s arsenal, please, please buy it and give it a try (and then a hug to me, for giving you this advice).
Sauces: A very important ingredient here is tomato paste. Normally, I don’t like the taste of it. Which is ok, because I don’t feel it in the peppers. In combination with all the spices, it changes its taste into something so delicious.
Stuffed peppers with lentils
- 1 1/2 cups lentils (I used red lentils)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 1 big onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 4-5 mushrooms chopped
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 0,4 cup tomato paste
Spices for filling
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 6 bell peppers
- 0,4 cup tomato paste
- 0,4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Soak the lentils for 20-30 minutes
Preparing the filling
- Into a preheated pan, on medium heat, add the oil, onion, garlic, ground coriander, and the ground cumin. Fry for around 5 minutes.
- Then, add the mushrooms, carrots, and lentils. Give it a stir.
- For preventing from sticking, add the water and tomato paste. Then, add the rest of the spices: paprika, smoked paprika, salt, and garlic. Mix everything together and let it cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preparing the peppers
- Wash the peppers and then dry them with a paper or kitchen towel.
- With a knife, carefully cut the top of the peppers. Remove the seeds. Keep the stem for covering the pepper while baking. (watch the video instructions for a more comprehensive understanding)
Adding the filling
- By now, your filling should be done. Remove from the heat.Stuff the peppers with the lentil filling, pressing slightly so the edges are also filled.
- Into a small bowl, combine tomato paste, water, and salt. Stir.
- Add the tomato sauce into the peppers. Add the stems of the peppers on top.
- Put the stuffed peppers into the oven for 30-40 minutes on 350F/175C.
- Soaking lentils is not mandatory, but I advise you to do so. Your lentils will activate their nutrients even more than normal, so you will end up with more nutrients.
- You can make more filling if you want to freeze some of it for later use. It will be less time consuming next time when you want to eat a healthy, delicious, and with minimum effort meal.
- Feel free to add more vegetables, such as chopped broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or cabbage.
- Smoked paprika is a key ingredient in the recipe. It gives a nice smoky, meaty flavor to the lentils. That is why I encourage you to always have this spice in your kitchen.
- I have just realized that a dressing would be perfect for this recipe. So, combine into a small food processor soaked sunflower seeds (0.5 cups), 0.5 tsp salt, pepper to taste, 0.5 tbsp garlic powder, and 0.5 cup water. Combine and pour on top of peppers before serving. It is the vegan version of sour cream.
Vegan stuffed peppers with lentils recipe
Protein: 10% of your daily dose
Net Carbs: 20% of your daily dose
Fat: 3% of your daily dose
Fiber: 30% of your daily dose
Iron: 25% of your daily dose
Calcium: 5% of your daily dose
Vitamin A: 200% of your daily dose
Vitamin C: 180% of your daily dose
Folate: 35% of your daily dose
Potassium: 35% of your daily dose
*please note that these numbers are estimated
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