Stuffed Peppers Alternative: Stuffed Tomatoes

We all have different tastes and preferences and there is nothing wrong with that:-) There are a great many foods I dislike or would prefer not to eat.  For me bell peppers are not a problem.  I prefer them cooked, but eating them raw is just fine as well (depending on the context).  However, I know several people who prefer to avoid them whenever necessary.  DSC_0804DSC_0806For those who suffer from this affliction here is an alternative method to eating stuffed peppers.  You can take any stuffed pepper recipe and do the same thing, but use a tomato as your dish instead of a pepper.  Even for those, like me, who enjoy a good bell pepper, it is nice to have a little variety.  Tomatoes are much smaller than peppers (you can fill more tomatoes than peppers with the same amount of filling) so keep that size ratio in mind as you are deciding how many to prepare.  DSC_0812 DSC_0818I had fun creating a new filling.  I thought we would do another vegetarian option, but remember you can always add in meat if you would like.  Since we used black beans last time I went for garbanzo beans this time around (or any white bean).  I also used what vegetables we had on hand.  Feel free to mix it up if you want, but I would recommend keeping the mushrooms in there.  Maybe it’s because we don’t always have mushrooms, but I really like having them in the mix.  DSC_0824Once the beans and vegetables are all cooking you can add in your spices.  I was pretty happy with the spice mix I had, but you know I will always encourage you to make a recipe your own.  Have fun playing with the spices or even adding some cooking wine, vinegar or even a little balsamic.  Ooh the balsamic actually sounds really good to me.  I will have to try adding that in next time.  After your filling is ready, stuff your tomatoes and bake them in the oven for a few minutes while the flavors meld.  Don’t bake them too long or your tomatoes will fall apart:-)  DSC_0828

Stuffed Tomatoes

4 large tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans

4 oz sliced mushrooms, diced

1-2 carrots, shredded

2 handfuls of spinach, finely chopped

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 t minced garlic

2 T lemon juice

Cheese (optional)

3/4 t salt

3/8 t pepper

3/4 t chili powder

3/4 t coriander

1 t paprika

1. Heat oven to 350 F.  Remove tops from tomatoes and scoop out the insides.  (You can use some of the insides in the filling or you can save it for other recipes.)

2. Saute mushrooms, onions and garlic over medium to medium-high heat until onions are soft.  Add beans, carrots, spinach, lemon juice and spices.  Stir occasionally until filling is warm and beans have become soft.

3. Fill each tomato until it peaks out the top.  Place stuffed tomatoes in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes.  Sprinkle the tops with paprika or seasoning of choice.

Thank you for you continued support.  I love hearing from readers in comments and messages.  I hope you Christmas week has gone well and that you have a fabulous weekend!  DSC_0843 DSC_0854DSC_0839