Stuffed Peppers

I developed this awesome dish today.  I used fresh okra, onions, and tomatoes from my local farmers market, plus organic collard greens and celery (they’re on the Dirty Dozen List.)

This dish is warm, soulful, and lightly spicy, and is fantastic on its own or with wild rice, and vegan fried chicken.  You could punch it up the heat with jalapeños or serranos if you like, but I left it savory.  Fresh corriander and oregano is a must!

3 carrots, diced
3 stalks organic celery, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 heirloom tomato, seeded and quartered
1 bunch organic collards, shredded leaves, diced stems
2 1/2 cups okra, cut into 1 inch sections
1 can blackeyed peas, rinsed and drained
6 strips faux bacon, diced
3 faux breakfast sausages, diced
1 clove garlic
2 tbs corriander
3 tbs paprika
1 sprig oregano, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup Cajun Chef
4 tbs Liquid Smoke
1/2 cube Not Beef
5 tbs red wine vinegar
2 cups water, if needed
1 tbs oil
Cajun Seasoning, if desired
4 red or orange bell peppers, if desired
wild rice, if desired

Add oil to a large skillet or wok, and bring heat to medium high. Puree tomato, Not Beef, and garlic, and add mixture to skillet. Add carrots, celery, collard stalks, onion and spices simmer until carrots are soft (al dente, not smushy), or about 10 minutes. 

Add shredded collard leaves, faux bacon, vinegar, Liquid Smoke, and Cajun Chef. Add some water if necessary. Add okra and sausages, and simmer until okra is al dente. Finally, add blackeyed peas.

Stir frequently to ensure veggies don’t stick, and add small amounts of water if necessary.  The veggies will soak up the water, and the end product shouldn’t be soupy.

Simmer everything for a total of 45 minutes to one hour, or until remaining liquid is absorbed. Serve in bell pepper bowls with wild rice.

Bell Pepper Bowls:  Cut the tops off of 4 red or orange bell peppers, seed them, and scrape out the white membrane.  Wrap them in foil and roast or grill them until they are soft.  Pour out any liquid, and spoon in gumbo mixture.  Sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning if desired.


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