Sometimes you may be presented with a variety of tastes that need to be addressed. Some people are pescatarians, vegetarians or even flexitarians. Others like every meal to include meat. Many people are vegan and don't eat eggs, milk or cheese. It can be challenging to satisfy all of these varieties of tastes in one meal.
There is a Hare Krishna cook book called, “The Higher Taste: a guide to gourmet vegetarian cooking and a karma-free diet.” It's fun to make dishes from this book. The book includes recipes for stuffed tomatoes, stuffed eggplant, spring rolls, vegetable quiche, and minestrone soup (to name a few). I found a great recipe for stuffed red peppers.
There is a great recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers in this book. It calls for a plant called hing. Onions and garlic can be a substitute for hing. You may know that onions and garlic are botanical members of the alliaceous family (alliums) - along with leeks, chives and shallots. According to Ayurveda, India's classic medical science, foods are grouped into three categories: sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. These are foods in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Onions and garlic, and the other alliaceous plants are classified as rajasic and tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance. Apparently, Hare Krishnas do not eat onions and garlic because they are in the mode of passion and cannot be offered to the Lord Krishna.
Personally, I couldn’t live without onions and garlic. So, I added them to the dish and to the recipe which follows. I also used brown rice in place of white, added almonds instead of pine nuts, and baked the peppers instead of frying them.
The finished dish turned out delicious. The brown rice with vegetables and cheese combined with fennel seed was so flavorful that my guests didn’t even miss the meat. You could make this same recipe and add some ground beef or ground turkey if you don’t have any vegetarians eating with you and it can be a meal in itself. Otherwise, it can be a side dish along with a piece of fish. However you wish to prepare it, I am sure you will enjoy it.
Look for these ingredients at the Mankato Farmer's Market: Saturdays 8 a.m. until noon and Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30 until 6:00.
Time: 45 minutes
4 red peppers
2 C. cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp. fennel seed
½ tsp. black pepper
1 C. zucchini, chopped
½ C. black olives, chopped
1/3 C. almonds, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 C. ricotta cheese
½ C. parmesan cheese
Cook the brown rice and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops off of the peppers and wash out the seeds. Steam the peppers for about ten minutes. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for ten minutes. Add fennel seed and pepper and heat for five minutes. Add the zucchini, and black olives. Cook for another five minutes. Add the almonds, salt and ricotta cheese. Pour in the rice and mix everything together for one minute more. Stuff this mixture into the peppers and top with the parmesan cheese. Place in the oven for twenty minutes.