I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if being vegan is more expensive than following a regular diet. Many times, they are honestly just curious to find out….other times, they are trying to find fault in my choice of lifestyle.Today on FB, there was a discussion about eating a plant-based diet on a restrictive budget – the resources that were shared were incredible! It IS absolutely possible to eat delicious plant-based food and still stay within your weekly budget. Take these stuffed peppers for example!
Every week, I spend some time looking through the local grocery store ads to find out what types of produce and non-perishables are on sale. Be careful though – don’t clip a coupon and use it just because it’s there. Only use coupons for things that you normally get! If you buy something new, even if it’s on sale, then you are still spending money that you normally wouldn’t.
This week, these gorgeous green bell peppers were on sale for $1 each. Normally, they are over $2 and they don’t look as good. These were HUGE! I just had to get them and make some of my favorite stuffed peppers! White mushrooms were also on sale for less than $2 for an 8oz package. I used cannelini beans, diced tomatoes, and rice from my pantry and I already had the garlic and onion. That’s it!
- 4 large bell peppers
- 1.5 cups of uncooked rice
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8oz white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5oz) of cannelini beans (any white bean will do)
- Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- Nutritional yeast to top, if desired
- Cook rice according to directions (I use a 1:1 ration of rice to water)
- While the rice is cooking, wash peppers. Cut off the top of the pepper, making the opening wide enough to get the seeds. Clean out the inside of the pepper and set aside. Cut off any excess pepper from the top and dice, then discard the stem
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic and any pepper pieces that were left from the tops, and saute for another minute.
- Add chopped mushrooms to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until they start to give off moisture and cook down a bit.
- Rinse beans and add them to the pan, along with the can of diced tomatoes and their juice. Lower heat and let the mixture simmer until the rice cooks fully, or about 5-7 minutes.
- Scoop rice into the saute pan and mix all ingredients together. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to your liking. I prefer mine a bit on the spicier side!
- Spoon the rice mixture into the bell peppers, using as much as you need to fill the empty space.
- Set the peppers into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover half of the peppers. Bring the water to a boil, lower the temperature, and simmer with the lid on until the peppers soften. You'll know they are almost ready when they start to turn a darker green (if that's the color you're using).
- Serve with extra red pepper flakes or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you want a cheesy taste. Enjoy!
At the last minute, I decided to sprinkle my pepper with nutritional yeast and it was AWESOME! If you have some in your house, definitely give it a try. I also had the pepper without the nooch the next day and it was delicious – so no need to go out and purchase a container of nutritional yeast if you don’t already have it. Enjoy!
*This recipe was submitted to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck! Visit the potluck HERE!*