I fell in love with this dish a few years back when my family and I vacationed out by Port Dover. I had yet to make the leap into veganism, so originally this was a vegetarian dish. But I still remember my Dad acknowledging the fact that he had never heard me rave so much about a meal we had shared - so I decided, why not make a vegan version of this delicious experience! Aside from using some of my favourite crisp vegetables, what I like most about this dish is the smokey tomato sauce that compliments the fruit and nut quinoa so well. This dish is perfect for dinner parties or meal prepping because it easily serves 4. Keep in mind that the steps I've provided allow you to multitask, preparing each component simultaneously.
Prep Time: ~ 15 min Cook Time: ~45 min Total Time: ~ 60 min
- Grape seed/Olive Oil as Needed
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 4 Assorted Peppers
- 1 Cup Crushed Tomato
- 1.5 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 2 Tablespoons Basil
- 1 Tablespoon Oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Head of Broccoli
- 1 Half of a Cauliflower
- 1 Zucchini
- 1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots
Step 1: Chop onion and garlic into small pieces. In a large pan (I use a ceramic pan) heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat, and add onion and garlic. Sautée until translucent.
Step 2: Slice the bottoms of your peppers off, leaving them flat and able to stand alone. Chop the bottoms into small pieces and add to your pan. Slice the tops of each pepper and set them aside for later. Using a small knife, hollow out the inside of each pepper.
Step 3: Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, smoke flavour, 1 tablespoon of basil, oregano, and parsley to your pan. I found liquid smoke at Freshco, where you'd find oils and BBQ sauces (I've attached a picture below). Let simmer on medium to low heat.
Step 4: In a medium size pot, boil 3 cups of water, and add quinoa. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. While your quinoa is cooking, peel and slice your carrots, slice your broccoli into long thin pieces, break your cauliflower into small florets, and slice your zucchini and cut into halves. Grease your Dutch oven (or baking pan) and line your peppers and zucchini as shown.
Step 5: Preheat your oven to 425•F. Once quinoa is cooked, remove from pot and empty into a large mixing bowl. Add 3 more cups of water to your pot, along with your carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, and let steam for a couple of minutes. Drain water and let sit in an ice bath for a few minutes, otherwise known as blanching. This stops the cooking process, and brings more colour into the vegetables.
Step 6: In a small sauce pan, add oil and slivered almonds, and let toast on medium heat until slightly brown. Add toasted almonds, chopped apricots, and a tablespoon of basil to quinoa and mix.
Step 7: Stuff peppers with quinoa mixture and reattach pepper caps. Remove blanched vegetables from your pot and add to your dish, surrounding your stuffed peppers. Remove tomato sauce from heat and evenly pour over vegetables.
Step 8: Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid and broil on high for 5 minutes.