These vegan stuffed red peppers are a perfect Thanksgiving side dish or main dish for vegetarians. They are gluten-free, low oxalate and have all the traditional holiday flavors you love. Although fennel seed – a traditional flavor in Thanksgiving stuffing- is high oxalate, fennel seed tea is low oxalate and gives the same flavor to the stuffing. Even better, the fennel tea gives the illusion that these vegan stuffed red peppers contain sausage, a nice surprise for vegetarians who miss some of the flavors of their childhood.
Hope you enjoy vegan stuffed red peppers, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Vegan Stuffed Red Peppers
1 fennel seed tea bag (UK readers click here)
1 cup apple cider
1 cup long grain white rice
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onions
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely diced (about 2 apples)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon white pepper (UK readers click here)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (UK readers click here)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (UK readers click here)
6 medium red bell peppers, tops cut off and hollowed
fresh thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water and the apple cider to boil and add the fennel tea bag. Brew the tea for about five minutes, then remove the tea bag. Add the rice, thyme and sage. Cover the pot and return to boiling. Simmer the rice, covered, until all liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the celery, onions, apples, salt and pepper in the hot oil until they are softened (about five minutes). Combine the cooked rice, sauteed vegetables and fruit. Stir in the cranberries and the pumpkin seeds. Spoon the stuffing into the bell peppers, then stand the peppers upright in a baking dish. Put the top back on if desired (or cut it up for a salad).
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the peppers are tender and stuffing in heated through. To serve, garnish with a thyme sprig if desired.
Low Oxalate Info: All ingredients in vegan stuffed red peppers are low oxalate except for the medium oxalate celery (7.o mg. oxalate per half cup) and pumpkin seeds (6.2 mg. oxalate per half cup). Each vegan stuffed red pepper has about 10.3 mg. oxalate (which is still low oxalate since each of these peppers is actually 2-3 servings of veggie/rice/fruit). These peppers are large and filling! Vegans and vegetarians might enjoy these with a salad. Meat-eaters might enjoy them with roasted turkey or chicken.
Where to buy fennel seed tea: I buy fennel seed tea, loose or in tea bags, in the natural foods section of my large chain grocery store. Most natural food stores in the US, Cananda and the UK should carry fennel seed tea as it is a very popular digestive aid, weight loss aid, and herbal remedy for gas, bloating and menstruation troubles. You may also order fennel seed tea from Amazon or directly from your favorite tea company. I really like Alvita brand herbal teas (US readers click here and UK readers click here. Sorry Canadian readers, I’m having trouble finding an on-line source for you. Let me know if you have one.) Or you might try one of these (US readers click here and UK readers click here). Any herbal tea that is made from fennel seed (without extra ingredients) should be low oxalate (3.0 mg. oxalate per cup) and should work well as a substitute for fennel seeds in recipes that call for fennel seeds plus some kind of liquid.
Photo credits go to avlxyz for just baked and karmadude for fennel seeds.