A vegan diet does not include meats or any animal products. Vegan stuffed peppers, therefore, is a dish that cannot contain common ingredients, such as cheese or ground meat, but may instead use processed vegan foods or unprocessed foods such as rice. The bell pepper is usually the species of pepper that is stuffed due to its sweet taste and large size.
The process of making vegan stuffed peppers is similar to any other stuffed pepper recipe, apart from the ingredients that must be used. Meat is not an option, and neither is flesh from fish or other animals. Unlike vegetarians, vegans also choose not to eat food that contains any animal products. Examples of nonvegan foods include cheese, which is made from the milk of animals like cows, cream from the same milk, and eggs from chickens.
Where an omnivore's stuffed pepper dish may contain ground meat or melted cheese and a vegetarian's stuffed pepper dinner may have cheese and eggs, a vegan must find other options. As a bulking agent, cooked rice or couscous are useful. The flavors of sauteed onions, chopped celery, and even diced pepper can also add to the dish.
If the vegan likes the texture and taste of meat and wishes to recreate the same characteristics in the vegan stuffed peppers, he or she can add some chopped vegan burger or other meat replacement to the mix. Cheese made out of soy and not from milk can imitate the fatty, salty flavor of cheese. All herbs are vegan, too, so herbs like thyme, parsley, and chili can also be added. Typically, the vegetables for the filling of the peppers are fried together, and crispier additions like shredded carrot and the precooked rice are mixed in at the last minute.
Vegan stuffed peppers are baked in a similar way to nonvegan peppers, and as it is the largest, the bell pepper is usually used for stuffing. A cook can slice off the top of the pepper and remove the internal structure and seeds. To make it stable, he or she can also cut some of the base off without making a hole in the bottom. A wet ingredient such as tomato juice or sauce can help keep the pepper moist during baking.
The filling should be already cooked before placing it into the pepper as the baking process softens the outside of the pepper, so it can be eaten as well as the stuffing. The peppers can either be baked in foil or placed in a dish with a thin layer of water in the bottom. Depending on the ingredients, a vegan stuffed pepper dish can provide a vegan with a substantial portion of vegetables for his or her diet. Whole-grain ingredients may also boost the fiber content, and a meat replacement ingredient or beans can supply protein.