Saturday, July 27, 2013

Croatian vegie stuffed capsicum

A big thank you to SJ, the culinary genius from Chasing the Donkey, who inspired this recipe. Get the original stuffed peppers recipe here and follow SJ's blog if you love food and travel or need a laugh.

After seeing SJs meat filled version on Instagram my mouth wouldn't stop watering for days, which is unusual as I do not eat beef. But I'm always looking for new ways to cook vegetables, so I thought I'd rework this into a vegetarian winter warmer for meatless Monday. Plus I wanted to use up the vegies that were piling up in our fridge and some herbs from our garden. This is really one of those meals where you can just throw together whatever you have on hand.

So Monday comes along and as usual I am super organised, haha yeah right! When I bothered to read the recipe properly (on MONDAY night) I realise it's going to take two hours to cook. Crap! Now that we have a child, eating at 10pm on a school night just isn't an option. So unfortunatly we didn't get to make this for Meatless Monday, it was bumped to Wednesday because that's my day off with Ava and clearly I have heaps of free time on Wednesdays. 

There are a few steps in this recipe - stuffing the capsicum, making the sauce then cooking it for two hours. So SJ's two hours would equal minimum three hours for me. And in addition to cooking and prep time I needed to prepare myself mentally...  

As a general rule I like to make things that are quick and simple. Minimal instructions and zero technique, anything more and I end up rocking in the corner. However I am known to occasionally overextend myself (in time and ability) and this was worth the anxiety and the effort. 

Once Ava was tucked up for her afternoon nap I was ready for battle the challenge. I read the instructions multiple times and reminded myself to breath. 


Stuffed Capsicums:
6 capsicums
2 small carrots diced
2 celery stalks diced 
2 zucchinis diced
2 tomatoes diced
1 tsp Garlic 
1 cup Brown rice
1 free range egg
1 tsp Paprika (optional)

1 Celery stalk
1 Carrot
1 tbs GF Flour
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
Bay leaf
Mixed herbs (optional)


Start with the stuffing:
  • Carefully slice the top off the capsicums and scrape out all the seeds
  • Wash and set aside - don't forget to keep the lids
  • Chop up the vegies and mix together in a bowl
  • Mix in rice, paprika and garlic
  • Season with salt and pepper 
  • Spoon mix into capsicums, don't overfill them as they will explode (like mine did)
  • Place capsicums into a large pot keeping them close so they don't fall over, but not too squashed as they will fall appart like mine did 
  • Set aside to make sauce.

Make your sauce:
  • Throw celery and carrot in a pan. 
  • You can add onion, however onion and my sensitive belly don't get along so I left it out.  
  • Once the vegies have softened add flour (I use GF) and mix well until browned 
  • Add tomato paste, stock and and herbs
  • Stir well until sauce boils 
  • Pour sauce evenly over the capsicums, making sure they are fully covered
  • Put the lids on the capsicums. 

Cook for 2 hours:
  • Cook on a low heat for 2 hours
  • Check the pot and shake regularly to ensure the sauce is evenly spread so you don't burn them 
  • Add extra stock, water or a can of diced tomatos if you need more liquid - don't let it dry out or the capsicums will burn and fall apart
  • Allow to sit for a while after cooking - like any good sauce the flavours will intensify
  • Serve with mashed potato or rice. 

Initially the multiple steps had me terrified, however I found the process to be more time consuming than difficult. And this is one of those meals you can just throw together whatever you have on hand. Perfect for someone like me who struggles with too many instructions and never remembers to bring a shopping list to the shops. 

The aroma that filled the house was amazing, resulting in the inevitable over indulgence where appropriate portion size is thrown out the window.  And best of all, Ava loved it! Like all new things she did not want to try it at first, but after some gentle persuasion and possibly a little bribery she polished off the lot!  Winning!

What's your favourite winter warmer meal?


  1. Yay, so glad you were inspired.

    Sounds good - I just don't think it's as good as my meaty version. BUT I do promise to try this and see for myself.

  2. LOL, not sure that my vegie version will be quite as good for meat lovers!