Food is one of the basic necessities of life, and people eat because they have to in order to survive. It is not necessary to turn a blank plate into a vibrant, edible masterpiece every time we eat, but it is fun and meditative to some people, just like painting or drawing is to others. And like some people don't have the skills to paint or draw well, some people aren't able to cook. But neither art nor cooking have boundaries or require language to understand. Cooking and art are both done by altering and manipulating supplies we already have, resulting in a universal form of communication--with ourselves and with others.
With creative cooking, we are able to come up with alternative ways to enjoy our food without facing the sad consequences of the Standard American Diet. An easy way to incorporate more vegetables and less processed food into our diets is to swap out starch and flour for fresh produce. For example, using kale or collard greens instead of using a tortilla, or using a bell pepper instead of a tortilla bowl! This small swap alone not only adds a boost of color and flavor to the meal but also is abundant in vitamins and nutrients. Bell peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges!
Vegan Tex-Mex Recipes: Bell Pepper Burrito Bowl
- 4-6 bell peppers
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup black beans
- 1 ear corn, kernels cut off the cob
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 handful spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- optional avocado, for serving
- optional nutritional yeast, for topping
2. Peel and dice your sweet potato. Add to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the potatoes are soft but not too tender. Strain and remove from heat.
3. While the sweet potato is steaming, prepare your peppers by cutting the stem off about an inch or two down and taking out all of the seeds.
4. In a large pot, place the peppers and tops and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the peppers sit in the pot until they are ready to be stuffed.
5. In a large bowl, add the sweet potato, cooked rice, beans, corn, onion, tomato, spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, and lime juice. Mix well.
6. Drain bell peppers and arrange in a baking dish. This can be any dish they will fit in. Fill the bottom of the dish with about an inch of water. Stuff the peppers with the stuffing mixture. Cover with stems.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the outside of the pepper wrinkles and chars.
8. Remove from oven, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, top with cilantro, and serve with avocado. These stuffed bell peppers are extremely versatile and filling without making you feel tired. You can use virtually any kind of peppers you prefer, and if you would rather use another grain than rice, feel free to swap it out for quinoa, barley, etc.
Also by Lauren: Mediterranean Kañiwa & Carrot Turmeric Dressing
Related: Ultimate Loaded Guacomole (Video)
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Photos: Lauren Sacerdote