Tag Archives: vegetarian food

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite dishes when I ate meat was stuffed bell peppers. I loved the way the rice, tomatoes, spices and meat all married together to make a delicious meal.

I made the same dish tonight, only I made them vegetarian.

In an effort to be more healthy, REB and I started cooking at home a lot more and working out together so instead of stuffing my face silly with delicious food, I can feel good about being able to eat something healthy and delicious after a work out (which, by the way, I STILL hate working out :P Hopefully my mood on that subject changes soon).

Anyway, this dish is really, really good and super easy to make. It does take some time, but there are ways to make it go faster if you’re pressed for time!

Starting line up:

•4 bell peppers – I used one red bell pepper because my sweetie loves the sweetness they have, but in the end, they all taste the same after baking. So, you can use what ever you’d like.

•1 16-oz. package Boca crumbles – this is what substitutes the ground beef for us vegetarians. It’s a great source of protein, so it’s the perfect alteration. But by all means, use your favorite ground meat: beef, turkey or whatever.

•1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice – brown rice is full of nutrients, protein and fiber. However, it takes about 30 minutes to fully cook (even in my awesome-o powah rice cooker. Of course, you can use white rice, which doesn’t take nearly as long. We wanted the health factor, so we opted for brown rice)

•1/2 cup red onion, chopped
•1/2 can diced tomatoes (or you can dice up some Roma or plum tomatoes – whatever works!)
•1/2 can corn kernels
•1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (we use a vegan kind I found at dirty Whole Foods, but it was the only place I could find it)
•1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
•S&P to taste
•1/4 cup water
•2 cloves garlic, chopped
•1 tablespoon olive oil
Not pictured: Franks Red Hot (need a couple dashes), cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes,  ground cumin — as little or as much as you’d like of each

First thing you need to do is cook the brown rice. Like I said, it’ll take about 25-30 minutes, so start this up first.
Also, boil a pot of salted water. This is for the bell peppers to blanch before baking.

While the water is boiling and the rice is finishing up, you can prepare your peppers.

Cut a thin slice off the top of your peppers and cut out the membrane and seeds. What you basically want is a hollowed out pepper so it’s like a little bowl.

Like so! Look how pretty. Mmmm bell peppers.

So do that with all the peppers.

Next, chop up your onion. This is totally optional though. I just love having the sweet crunch of red onion in almost everything I make.

The hope is by the time you’ve done this, the rice is about halfway through (if you start preparing the peppers 10 minutes into the rice-cooking process) and the water is boiling.

Put the peppers in the boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes. All you want to do is blanch them so they bring out the color and soften them a bit.

Once you’ve done that, place them in a 9 x 13 baking dish with a little water on the bottom of the dish. They can hang out while you wait for the rice to finish cooking and while you making the filling.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Start by adding the olive oil to a hot pan and adding the onion. Let them cook 3-5 minutes or until they’ve softened or become translucent.

Next add in the Boca crumbles and a little bit of water to help soften it. At this time you can also add in the seasonings (cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and dried oregano). You basically want to cook it until it’s warmed through.

Make a little bed and add in the garlic. Ah, garlic. It’s a necessity. It’ll immediately make your dish smell amazing.

Then you can add in the Worcestershire sauce. Again, this is totally optional, but it’s got a whole lot of things in the sauce and it’ll help salt the dish so you won’t need as much later. You can add in your freshly ground black pepper and if you need to, more salt.

Add in the tomatoes and corn. You can drain some of the liquid from the tomato, but it won’t hurt to have it – will create a sauce. If you do happen to drain it a bit too much, you can always add in a little more water to help create a sauce.

Once the rice is cooked, throw that into the pan and stir all your ingredients together. At this point, we added some of the Franks Red Hot sauce, or now that I think about it, you could add in some Siracha, Mmmmm….next time! The ground cumin can also go in, which will add a wonderful smokey flavor in the back. Cumin can be pretty expensive, so you can always leave it out and use other spices. Definitely optional, though.

Stuff the peppers almost all the way full. It will look like you have a ton of filling, but believe me, you’ll use it up. Then again, our peppers were pretty big…

Top each pepper with a little cheese. Given that so far, this isn’t such a horribly unhealthy dish, you can indulge a little and have some cheese.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted (and a little browned) and the peppers have cooked a little (you can touch them to see if they’re softened)

When they come out, they are a bubbly and hot and smell amazing!

Now tell me that doesn’t look good. Just try. Well, I think it looks good and it tasted great, too. Having my sweetie tell me so is the icing on the cake ;-) But seriously! I don’t miss the meat when I make this. I get all the nutrients, protein and fiber I need and I cut more than half the fat.

This one’s a keeper :) Enjoy!

Vegetarian Paradise

Seva: I love this restaurant. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor. Hands down. I’m sure you can guess why. It’s one of (if not the only) vegetarian/vegan restaurant in this entire beautiful, cute city.

I love the tag line: “Fresh imaginative vegetarian cuisine” — ah, I love the sound of that. They just put it all out there, so you know they’re full of awesome.

When you walk in, you have two options: Go into the restaurant straight ahead. Or, you can go downstairs to the comedy club.

Did I mention this place is full of win? Because it is. So yeah, you can eat and then catch a comedy show! (And, REB and I have been to the comedy club a few times and the people they have coming though there are hilarious! But that’s a different post…)

Seva is incredibly quaint on the inside. It isn’t super huge, but I think it seats 100 or so people. I think. The hostess stand is right there when you walk in, bathrooms and bar to the right.

So what’s with that shelf and the hallway?

Those are t-shirts and hoodies on that there shelf. You can buy those t-shirts (I have one in black w/ white writing for around $10. But you might ask yourself, “Um, why do I want to do this?”

This is why:

If you buy a t-shirt and travel (like I do every few weeks), you can take a picture of where ever you are with your t-shirt on, bring in the photo and get a free entree. Pretttttty sweet!

If you prove you’ve been some where with the Seva t-shirt, you also get a pin on their U.S. or World Map on the location of where you were.

I’m guilty of not showing them my photos! I have quite a few. I’m sure I’ve racked up enough entrees for a party of 5 or 6 by now. Should get on that. (–___–;

They have a full-service bar with beer, wine and juice! And their juices are amazing, so definitely check out this area of the place. There’s also more seating around the bar area and near the back of the restaurant.

We were fortunate to be seated in the corner in the front part of the restaurant (past the hostess stand), so I could be a creepster and take a picture of this part of the restaurant. I love the streamer lights along the top and the plants. I love the plants. They make the place seem so green and friendly. The wooden walls make me feel like I’m eating in a cabin.

Sigh. The ambiance of this restaurant makes me happy. I feel at peace, if that’s even possible.

How about we get to the whole point of this place.


Like I said, it’s all vegetarian, but you meat eaters shouldn’t be super upset about this. There are a ton of great items on their menu that even the meatiest meat eater would be satiated. Everything from North African cous cous, spinach enchiladas, portobello sandwiches and Greek salads, to all vegan items like Tempeh burgers, black bean burgers and tofu eggs.

Before you all start gagging, you should give it a chance!

Tonight, I got the Eggs Veracruz, which was a crispy tortilla topped with black beans, eggs (I got mine done over-hard. It usually comes with over-medium), sour cream, guacamole, scallions, tomatoes and salsa. And some grapes on the side. It was pretty much amazing.

And to move onto my next point: They serve breakfast items all day.

It was more food than I could even eat, but it was oh so delicious.

REB got a char-grilled vegetable and goat cheese wrap with a cup of potato & leek soup (also known as vichyssoise). He let me try his soup and it was TO. DIE. FOR. I swear to something/someone divine and holy, it could have been made by the Late and Great Julia Child. …Except it was made with vegetable stock instead of chicken, of course.

In addition to outstanding food, the service is wonderful. We were served by one of the most friendly, and helpful servers. She kept the drinks filled and checked on us often to make sure we were happy. The food arrived fresh, hot and looked amazing.

Now, prices can be kind of high depending on what you get. Their lunch menu is the way to go where you can get half a sandwich with a cup of soup, salad, etc. That runs about $7 or $8. The entrees can get spendy and are any where from $10-15. They do have specials on the back of their menu every day (or week), though. They feature a special appetizer, salad and 3-to-4 entrees. They also make note of a wine that would complement the meal well, which is always nice.

So check out Seva! I’ve never had a bad thing to eat there, and a lot of my carnivorous friends would agree it’s a pile of win. So check it out! I know you’ll love it. And if you don’t, tell you love it any way so I don’t cry from confusion.