from Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann

1 c walnuts
1 c cooked brown rice
1 c canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 c oat bran (isn’t always gluten-free, read your labels of course!)
1/2 tsp sage (I used 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped)
1/2 tsp marjoram (again with the fresh)
1/4 tsp thyme (1/4 tbsp fresh)
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 c tomato sauce
7 medium bell peppers , tops lopped off, ribs and seeds removed

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a food processor fitted with the S blade, process the walnuts into very small bits. Scrape the walnuts into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Add the brown rice and chickpeas to the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture forms a coarse mash. Add this mash to the mixing bowl along with the oat bran, sage, marjoram, thyme, onion powder, soy sauce, mustard, peanut butter, and tomato sauce. Using your hands, knead the mixture well until it is thoroughly mixed and holds its shape… Stuff this mixture into the peppers, and replace the tops if you desire. Place them on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

You’ll have to excuse me, I made some changes here. First off, the original recipe is for wellingtons, to be made with puff pastry instead of bell peppers. I don’t do puff pastry (too tasty, too dangerous), so I was happy to see that the author included a variation that her sister-in-law came up with. Second, the bell peppers that I picked up at the farmers market were HUGE. So I used 4 of them. Also, I realized that I had no tomato sauce once I had the mix all kneaded up. So I smashed a tomato with a little garlic and a splash of olive oil. Ugh. Maybe that’s why I didn’t find this to be my favorite recipe to date? The filling to pepper ratio was too much, and made for a lot of the same texture throughout the entire pepper. The tomato sauce situation was a sin, I know. I have no excuse- I was hungry and I panicked.
I must say though, that the filling itself was really good. The mustard-peanut butter-onion powder combo is simply brilliant. It was savory and dense- total comfort food. I will definitely make these again, but only with the sauce, and I might knead some red onion in at the end to give it a little more texture. And as far as traveling well and making for a good leftover for a hearty lunch? Indeed.
Still, my apologies. I’ll try not to cook when I’m THIS hungry.

 

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