Monday, September 24, 2012

Vegan Hot Stuffed Peppers

When I first met Mr. Darling he worked at a delicious Italian restaurant that had the best stuffed hot peppers.  Of course this was long before I was a Veg and they were stuffed with Italian sausage.  I had actually (sort of) forgotten all about them until four hot peppers showed up in our weekly CSA basket.  They had to be stuffed!!! So I started thinking of a flavorful stuffing for them.  Since becoming a Veg I have realized that all those great meat dishes I use to love get their flavor from a delicious mix of veggies and spices.  Seriously! These hot peppers got stuffed with an oniony-tempeh mixture that made them oh so delicious. 
If you’re not familiar with tempeh it is a soy product made from cooked and fermented soybeans.  It has a nutty texture and taste that is all its own.  If you are not a vegetarian/vegan this dish would make a delicious meal for a “meatless Monday.”   
I started by sauteing onions, garlic, and celery.  Then I added in the tempeh and spice mixture.  A little red wine added some juiciness and got all those yummy bits off the bottom of the pan. 
Some marinara sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish with hot peppers cut and cleaned out.  I stuffed each one generously with the mixture and topped with a little more pasta sauce. 
Then baked in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes and removed when the pepper pierced easily with a fork.   
Vegan Hot Stuffed Peppers
4 hot peppers {sliced open with the seeds removed}
1 package tempeh {crumbled by hand}
1 small onion diced
1 celery stalk diced
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup red wine
2 tsp fennel
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne
One jar marinara sauce –homemade or store bought
1.)    Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit
2.)    Cut the tops off the peppers slice about ¾ of the way down one side of the pepper and spoon out any seeds.  Set aside. 
3.)    Cook or prepare the marinara in a small saucepan. 
4.)    In a separate pan saute onions, garlic, and celery until golden over medium heat.  Add crumbled tempeh {TIP: just use your hands to break apart and crumble the tempeh} and spices.  Cook until the tempeh has browned nicely, stirring occasionally.  Once the tempeh is browned add the red wine scraping the bottom to incorporate all those yummy bits.  Leave the flavors combine for about a minute then take off the heat.
5.)    To assemble cover the bottom of a baking dish with marinara sauce, set the peppers on top, spoon the tempeh mixture equally into the peppers, top with a bit of sauce. 
6.)    Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for about 10 minutes and remove when the pepper easily pierces with a fork.  Enjoy!!
Yummy! This totally hit the spot! I love the taste of the fennel seeds. They give the tempeh such great flavor. 

How about you?  Any inspirational dishes from CSA or farmer's market veggies?
Or a restaurant dish that inspired a homemade one?
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Friday, September 21, 2012


I love to cook and create vegan, gluten free recipes with fresh, organic ingredients and I strive to be a voice for animals.  That’s why I created Determined Darling; you can read all about that here.   
I’m a tomboy at heart, runner, and momma to our retired racing greyhound Bow, learn more about her here. I love dancing in my kitchen, being outside, a warm bowl of soup, the smell of fall, sunshine, salt water in my hair, coffee mugs, anything vintage, and my family.  As long as I can remember I’ve been a water girl it’s where I feel most at peace.  Lucky for me Mr. Darling and I live by a lake.   We are slowly DIYing our 1970s split level into our little lake cottage. 
I believe in homesteading- all kinds of homesteading big, small, rural, urban, suburban! I believe in growing your own food whether it’s in a pot or on an acre.  I believe digging in the dirt is good for your soul.  I believe in community supported agriculture. I believe in slow food and a plant-based diet. I believe in cooking, baking, and preserving from scratch. I believe healthy food is the main ingredient to a healthy mind, body, and soul.  I believe in rain barrels and greywater systems. I believe in no mow lawns and butterfly gardens. I believe you can have a beautiful and earth friendly home. I believe in thrifting and DIYing. I believe the best home d├ęcor comes from repurposing and upcycling. I believe in healthy, fit bodies. I believe that running is religion. I believe all creatures from the ant to the zebra are beautiful, deserve respect, and protection. I believe in rescuing animals and stopping factory farming. I {strive to} believe life in its imperfection is perfect. Finally, I believe anyone can live a beautiful, delicious, eco-friendly life.