Simple Pepper Parfait

Most stuffed pepper recipes contain meat and require a lot of time. I don't accept either of those conditions. By minimizing the number of ingredients and removing the meat, a relatively quick and simple vegetarian pepper parfait results. This recipe was a winner for both for me and for Merle. 

Pepper Parfait
Makes 5 peppers

5 bell peppers
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup tofu, cubed
1 cup shredded cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar; make it vegan by using Daiya cheese)
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 - 1/2 tsp seasoning salt (dependant upon personal taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450F. Meanwhile slice off the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds and white membrane from the interior. Rub the exterior with olive oil and set on a baking sheet. If any peppers have difficulty standing up, slice off the rounded 'feet' at the base of the pepper. 

Sprinkle a little bit of cheese at the base of each pepper. In a bowl, combine the tofu, tomatoes, and spices. Spoon out half of the mixture evenly among the peppers. Then fill each pepper with quinoa, pressing it down to maximize space. Top the quinoa with the remaining tofu tomato mixture. Replace the pepper tops, effectively creating a lid that allows the contents of the peppers to be steamed. 

Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 375F. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven, remove the pepper tops* and sprinkle each pepper with the remaining cheese. Continue baking for another 10 minutes. Serve hot. 

*Serve the tops next to the pepper parfaits or cut them up and use for another meal. 

Serving suggestions
This is a dry stuffed pepper recipe, meaning no sauce or liquid ingredients were used. Bring the sauce back by serving the peppers in a bowl of your favorite warmed sauce. 

Toddler approved
Older children will enjoy eating out of an edible bowl (the pepper), but it can be challenging for little ones to figure out how to eat it. Make this toddler approved by cutting the cooked pepper in half. With the filling side up, cut the pepper (and filling) into slices as if it were an apple. I served it to her with a side of peas and ground bison.

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