For those of you that have been following me you’ll know I decided to take part in #veganuary. Veganuary is a global campaign highlighting the impact the meat and dairy industry has on our planet. The idea is simple. Cut out meat, fish, dairy, eggs and honey from your diet for the month of January, a month where many people go for faddy diets, refrain from alcohol or detox after the festive season.
I am almost half way through now and loving it. My waistline cannot hide the fact I have always been a cheese lover, but surprisingly I have found the two weeks of Veganuary so far to be much easier than I thought.
Before starting I resigned myself to the fact I would be eating stir fries, veg chilis and curries day in day out, but with a little thought and reading aoround the subject, the options are limitless. Tonight I opted for a silky smooth, roasted, stuffed pepper. In the past I would smother these with cheese but going vegan has taught me it tastes just as good without the cheese and all the bad things that brings.
This makes enough for 4 people for a lunch, or 2 if you are greedy.
4 Peppers – any colour will do
a large handful of bulghur wheat – about a cup
1x400g tin of chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon paprika
A pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tomato – skinned and finely diced
1 onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
a handful each of fresh parsley, basil and mint – roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Put the oven on at 180C
Cut the tops off the peppers, leaving the stalk on. Remove the seeds and place the peppers and lids in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of oil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Take a small frying pan and heat 1 tablespoon. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until slightly browned. Remove from heat and put in a bowl.
Cover the bulghur with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes. The grains will swell and absorb most of the liquid. Drain in a sieve and add to the bowl
Drain the chick peas and rinse under a cold tap to remove the odd tinny flavour. Add the drained chick peas to the bowl along with the tahini, paprika, chopped herbs and skinned, chopped tomato. Season and mix well.
Now spoon the mixture into the peppers, squidging them down to cram it all in. Pop the lids on and return to the oven for at least 40 minutes, or preferably an hour.
Serve with salad, or roasted new potatoes, or a little soya yogurt.