Meatless Stuffed Bell Peppers

I am not a vegan and I am not a vegetarian. I have realized that declaring myself as anything in particular makes me feel trapped and forced to stick to a certain way of eating. I eat what I feel like eating when I feel like eating it. (Unless we are talking about candy, because then I would just be eating Mike & Ikes all day every day.)

This meal is meatless and nutrient dense. More than enough protein from the lentils and veggies and if you love the idea of a stuffed pepper, but have only tried it with meat I suggest trying out the below and switching it up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 2-3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 package white or baby bella mushrooms
  • 2-4 green bell peppers (or any color!)
  • salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper
  • Olive Oil (2-3 tbs.)
  • grass fed butter (2 tbs.)
  • optional: goat cheese (highly recommended!)

Directions: There are a lot of moving parts, but you can make this recipe work faster by cooking different ingredients at the same time. All in all this should take 45 minutes total to complete.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Hollow out the peppers by slicing a circle around the stem. Remove all the seeds and drizzle a small amount of olive oil inside. Play on large baking hollow side up and place in oven for 10 minutes.
  3. While peppers are starting to cook follow lentil instructions on the bag they came in. (You need to rinse them off and boil then simmer on low and cover for 25-35 minutes.
  4. In a large boiling pot cook your butternut squash. Boil for about 10-15 minutes or until fork can easily stick in them. Once done cooking, strain and place in a large bowl with butter, salt and pepper. Use a masher or blender if you want to blend into a creamy consistency.
  5. Dice up your onion, mushrooms and mince your garlic. In a medium pan with olive oil saute all together. Add in spices.Saute for about 6-8 minutes on low until mushrooms are slightly cooked through. Add to a bowl with mashed squash.
  6. Strain your lentils once done cooking and using mixer or masher, mash the lentils BUT not completely. We want some of them in tact for texture. ( I suggest a hand masher tool so you can better control the outcome.)
  7. Add lentils to squash and mushroom mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Scoop mix into hollowed out partially baked peppers. You may have mix leftover depending on the size and amount of peppers you are using. (Great as side dish for dinner tomorrow.)
  9. Place packed peppers (say that 5x fast) into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once removed top peppers with feta or goat cheese.
enjoy!

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