Say what you will about Paula Deen (and people certainly have said many things about Ms. Deen), the woman knows comfort food. (And I bet she’s fun as hell to hang out with.) Back in the days when the Food Network was the Food Channel and they actually aired shows where real chefs made real food, I enjoyed Paula’s homey and down-to-earth manner and how she cracked herself up – and even though the thought of all of that butter scared me even when I ate the stuff, her recipes did look pretty darn good.
Despite being vegan and despite the crap that’s now on the Food Network, I still find inspiration from Paula. Case in point: these brunch-stuffed peppers. This is one of those recipes that I jotted down long ago on my endless and ever-expanding “recipes for the blog” list and I finally got around to making my version. Sure, these are ideal for a lazy brunch, but they make an excellent lunch or dinner entree, too.
Good stuff about – –
- one cup of chopped peppers gives you 100% of your daily dose of vitamin C
- contain lycopene – an antioxidant that fights free radicals and may be beneficial in warding off prostate cancer
- low in calories, but rich in fiber and potassium
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- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 vegan Italian or other variety vegan sausage, chopped
- ground black pepper, to taste
- splash of Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 14-ounces firm tofu, pressed, drained, and crumbled
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. kala namak (black salt)
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 4 large bell peppers, cut in half, seeded and cored
- 8 slices vegan cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425-degrees and line a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan with foil.
- Add the crumbled tofu, nutritional yeast, thyme, turmeric, kala namak, smoked paprika, and pepper to a large bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a splash of water or vegetable broth and sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes. Add the hash browns and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown. Add more water/broth a little at a time to prevent sticking - but you want to get some lovely brown bits so don't add too much liquid. When the hash browns are soft and browned, stir in the garlic, vegan sausage, and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside while you prepare the tofu.
- Put the tofu mixture into that same pan and add a splash of vegetable broth, water, or tamari. Cook, stirring often, until heated through. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and the hash brown mixture.
- Place the bell pepper halves into the prepared pan and divide the filling between them. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.
- If you like, place one slice of vegan cheddar cheese (or your favorite variety) on top of each pepper half. Set the oven to broil and watching carefully, melt and lightly brown the cheese.
- Serve with additional chopped parsley.
- Fresh salsa makes a nice addition to these stuffed peppers.