Something magical happens when a vegetable gets stuffed. What once used to be the same old, plain old blah-di-blah veggie suddenly becomes wondrous, worthy of a place amongst the A-list stars of the appetizer menu — for the best in culinary sampling— or even warranting main dish status, the top billing for any and all edible elites. In other words, if you want to impress somebody, this is one surefire way.
And, therein lies the great question and the great motive for today’s exploration into the world of plant-based eating: Just which vegetables are best set for the filling? And, if we are going there anyway, why not include a few suggestions and recipe links for what exactly a plant-based cook might put into said vegetables? It’s going to be fun, enlightening and revolutionary for our ever-expanding list of personal specialties.
Let’s get to stuffing.
Think of it like this, squash has a firm outer shell with a scoop-friendly inside, especially the autumn and winter varieties like acorn or carnival. Anytime a vegetables skin can basically act as its serving dish, that makes for good stuffing. Just roast them whole at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 50 minutes, slice the halves open and stuff away!
Um, it’s almost as if peppers were grown to be stuffed. They are already hollow, which seems to just beg for something delicious to go inside. And, don’t forget, it doesn’t only have to be bell peppers, stuffed jalapenos, Anaheims and poblanos are fantastic.
We won’t argue about what is and isn’t a vegetable on this one, and simply accept that mushrooms are sold alongside veggies and, when stuffed, maybe with spinach and pine nuts, are the ultimate appetizer.
Truthfully, there is not much that a potato can’t do well, stuffed just being another sparkle on an inescapably endless list of talents. What’s more, the stuffed potato can take so many cultural spins, such as the Indian-fusion stuffed potato skin.
Really more like a wrap, leafy greens are fantastic for filling. Cabbage is usually the choice here, but we’d be foolish to weed out all of those other hearty, healthy greens, such as collard greens, kale and chard. And, another beautiful part of doing it with greens is doing it raw.
Yet another vegetable with skin thick enough to tolerate the bullying. Stuffed eggplant makes for a great main dish, usually fostering in some sort of healthy whole grain and other fresh vegetables, perhaps a little chopped nuts. Or you can go with stuffed eggplant rounds, such as Eggplant Hummus Rounds instead.
The beauty of stuffing an artichoke is two fold or more. First of all, it comes apart as a wonderful finger food, perfect for nibbling, and secondly, the flavor is mild and accommodating to whatever might be stuffing it, maybe even spinach and artichoke dip. Artichokes can easily be stuffed during cooking, or afterwards. See
Yet another instance in which we won’t quibble of technicalities and simply accept that juicy tomatoes make for moist, delicious stuff “vegetables”. Pesto sauce with a “Parmesan” crust works wonderfully, and you can also add grains and other veggies to your tomatoes once they’re roasted.
The hip way to refer to stuffed zucchini is calling them boats. Essentially, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, scoop out the middle and fill it with all sorts of delightful treats, such as Clean Eating Zucchini Boats with Garlic Sauce. It makes for a lovely presentation, not to mention a delicious meal.
Hey, hey, hey! We could’ve listed out different types of squash or greens if we wanted to simply come up with ten actual vegetables. But, we were going for something more here, grander: real variety. Avocados — whatever their technically identities are — are perfect for stuffing. Keep it simple, raw, and go the salsa route. Or, roast them, but be sure to remove the shell first.
Vegetables (and there closely associated produce aisle pals) are versatile vixens, ready for the adventure and voluptuous variations, and who are we — the vegans, the plant-based eaters, vegetarians, or even omnivores — to deny them such spotlight moments, the fifteen minutes in which they become the feature and the rest of the meal the sides and accouterments. It seems fairly apparent here as the article winds down that we have a duty to get out there, stuff those vegetables and make some dreams come true.
Lead Image Source: Ultimate Stuffed Mushrooms