Peppers Stuffed with Italian Lentils and Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Peppers Stuffed with Italian Lentils and Rice: Healthy plant-based and gluten free main meal
Ingredients
For the lentils:
  • 1½ cups brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1½ cups small diced onion
  • 1½ cup of small diced carrots
  • 1½ cup small diced celery
  • 1 quart of canned tomatoes, or 28 oz can, separate out the liquid and set aside
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano
  • 1 tsp salt, reduce to ½ tsp if using salted broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
For the rice:
  • 1½ cups of brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp freshly prepared bouillon or add additional salt and tomato paste to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
For assembly:
  • 10 mulit-colored peppers
  • jarred or freshly prepared sauce, about ½ a jar
  • freshly chopped parsley and crushed red pepper for garnish
Instructions
  1. To cook rice in a pressure cooker: place rice, tomato paste, water/broth, and bouillon into a pressure cooker, cover, bring to pressure, reduce heat to low and cook for 12 minutes. Turn stove off and let pressure drop. To cook in traditional pot: bring water/broth to a boil, add in bouillon if using, rice, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and cook until water has been absorbed and rice has softened, about 40 minutes.
  2. While rice is cooking make the lentils: sauté onions, carrots, celery, herbs, and garlic in a good sized soup pot, along with a little of the reserved tomato juice to prevent sticking. Add bay leaves, and cook until vegetables have softened. Season with salt, peppers, and add in tomato paste.
  3. To the reserved tomato juice, add enough water/broth to measure out 4 cups of liquid. Add to the pot along with tomatoes and lentils. Cover and cook until lentils have softened.
  4. Once lentils and rice are finished cooking, add rice to lentils until desired consistency is found. We added almost all of the rice, leaving a little for a lunch the next day.
  5. While lentils and rice cook, bring a pot of water to boil, along with a pinch of salt. Slice peppers in half and remove their seeds. Drop into boiling water and cook for 1½ minutes. Remove from water.
  6. Pour enough of the jarred tomato sauce into 2, 9x13" pans to coat the bottom and prevent the peppers from sticking. Put the peppers into the sauce (we found 10 halves/5 peppers fit in each pan). Fill with lentil stew and top each pepper with 1-2 tbsp sauce.
  7. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and cook for 10 more minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and crushed red pepper if desired. Serve with a big salad and enjoy those colors!
Notes
498% Vitamin C, 60% Vitamin A, 26% iron, 8% calcium, 948 mg potassium-nutrition calculate with 12 full peppers, with 2 servings of lentils left over, total 12 servings
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 pepper halves Calories: 261 Fat: 1.7 g Carbohydrates: 53 g Fiber: 12.3 g Protein: 12 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe by Garden Fresh Foodie at http://www.gardenfreshfoodie.com/main-dishes/peppers-stuffed-with-italian-lentils-and-rice/