As part of Organic September, each week I have been setting myself a different challenge. This meal was part of week two’s challenge to replace a meal a day with an organic meal and is a bit of a treat for you all – three recipes in one! Accompanied with a glass (or two) of organic wine, these smoky stuffed peppers served with sweet potato mash and a chickpea and tomato salad made a perfect fully vegan Saturday night dinner.
To make this organic I used:
- Organic Romano peppers £1.99
- Organic white onions £0.90 (for 3)
- Organic garlic £0.78 (for 3)
- Organic vine tomatoes £2.40
- Organic Taifun smoked tofu £3.19
- Organic sweet potatoes £1.57
- Marigold Swiss organic vegetable bouillon powder (vegan) £2.00 (for 150g)
- Organic tinned chickpeas £0.63
- Organic apple cider vinegar £2.39 (for 500ml)
Overall, it was more reasonable and easier than I’d anticipated to switch almost everything for dinner to organic. It was a pleasant surprise to find there was barely any difference when it came to swapping vegetables for organic (expect maybe the tomatoes – but ultimately, it wasn’t far off the non-organic price) and, as you can see, some of these came in larger quantities that you’d need for these recipes. It was also great to realise that some of my regular items, like the Marigold stock and smoked tofu, were already organic.
The smoky vegan stuffed peppers are filled with a firm smoked tofu that grates very well, but alternatively a well-pressed crumbled tofu would work perfectly. You might also be wondering what makes the sweet potato mash qualify as healthy. It’s because it doesn’t contain any margarine or butter, or even milk; instead, it gets its creamy texture and extra flavour from the addition of a little stock – trust me, it works! Since I was using organic sweet potatoes, I decided to leave the skins on to get the most of the extra nutrients in them too, knowing they wouldn’t have any nasties in them.
If you’re cooking all three of the dishes, start by putting the sweet potatoes on to boil. Once the sweet potatoes are on the go, begin cooking the pepper filling and then you’ll find time to make up the salad as both are cooking. Finally, you’ll be able to take care of the mash as the peppers and their filling finish off cooking, then you can assemble the stuffed peppers right before serving.
There was one unfortunate hiccough for me as I was creating these dishes however. No sooner had I carefully set everything out on the table and reached for my tripod, when my camera battery ran out. I was so excited about sharing this meal that my disappointment was palpable. Like most things that you’ll find on this blog, these dishes were destined to be my dinner as soon as the photos were taken and I knew that there wouldn’t be any leftover peppers to photography it later or the next day when my battery was charged. So improvise I must, and I took these photos on my phone. Maybe one day I’ll replace them (when I make this again – and I definitely will be making it again!) but for now I hope they still convey how delicious it was!
- For the peppers:
- 4 Romano peppers, deseeded and cut in half lengthways
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 125g vine tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3tbsp white wine
- 200g smoked tofu, grated or crumbled
- 2tsp smoked paprika
- ¼tsp dried oregano
- Black pepper, to taste
- For the mash:
- 700g sweet potatoes, skins left on, washed and cubed
- 2tbsp vegetable stock
- For the salad:
- 240g cooked or tinned chickpeas (drained weight)
- 50g vine tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 3tbsp tahini paste
- 3tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of half a fresh lemon
- Black pepper, to taste
- To being the mash, place the sweet potatoes in a large pan of boiling water and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are cooked and soft.
- In the meantime, heat a frying pan over a medium high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil.
- Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan. Stir for a couple of minutes, add the wine, then lower the heat slightly and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If you're having the chickpea and tomato salad, you can make this as the pepper filling cooks by mixing the tahini, vinegar, oil, lemon and pepper together in a bowl until they form a smooth paste. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, mix until they are well coated. Set aside.
- Add the grated or crumbled tofu, paprika, oregano and black pepper to the frying pan and mix well. Cook for a further five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, gently steam the pepper for around five minutes until they have softened slightly.
- If you're having the sweet potato mash, drain the sweet potatoes, add the stock and mash this as the peppers and filling finish off cooking.
- Place the pepper in a dish or on the serving plates and fill with the tofu mix.
- Serve with the sweet potato mash and chickpea and tomato salad!
Have you been taking part in #OrganicSeptember? What challenges have you set yourself?
This post is in collaboration with Waitrose who kindly provided the organic ingredients but all thoughts and recipes are my own!