Round 4 Vegan Taste-off: Stuffed Pepperson January 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm
In this week’s food face-off we get to our main course: stuffed peppers. As always, our panelists would compare the two dishes side by side without any knowledge as to the ingredients, nor the inspiration. As both recipes mentioned you could cook them inside either a yellow, orange or red pepper, I kept each of the same pepper in the same colour, so that our panelists would pit yellow versus orange.
The two recipes were Fragrant Rice-Stuffed Peppers from Deb Roussou’s 350 Best Vegan Recipes appearing as the yellow pepper against Quinoa and Pinto Bean-Stuffed Peppers from 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson appearing as the orange pepper. Two very different fillings, two very different preparation methods, one clear favourite amongst all our panelists…
Bobbie: “The flavours of the yellow pepper are more hearty, and I like the crunchy texture. The beets add a bit of sweetness, which is unexpectedly nice. The orange pepper is a little bit unflavourful but the quinoa is nice- it seems like it’s missing something. Maybe if there were some more veggies, it would score better for me.” Bobbie’s pick? Fragrant Rice-Stuffed Peppers
Candice: “The yellow pepper has a delightful flavour and a perfect combination of flavour, spice and texture. The orange pepper was rather bland in comparison, with a mushy consistency.” Candice’s pick? Fragrant Rice-Stuffed Peppers
Poppy: “The yellow pepper had sweet spots, crunchy spots, a great flavour and kept me interested. The pepper was cooked to perfection, and on the whole, it felt like a heartier dish. The orange pepper was soggier and the quinoa had less flavour, texture and excitement than its yellow counterpart. ” Poppy’s pick? Fragrant Rice-Stuffed Peppers
Fragrant Rice-Stuffed Peppers takes the lead as all our tasters’ favourite, with the texture and flavour combination making it just too interesting not to love. Interestingly enough, all the panelists mentioned that had they seen the two described on a menu, none would have chosen the winner, and all instead would have gone with the quinoa version.
Since I had chosen smaller peppers knowing everyone would be eating two, I had plenty of extra filling leftover from both recipes. I happily ate the beet-walnut-rice stuffing for lunch the next day, not even inside of a pepper. Even on its own, it had enough complexity to make it an addicting stand-alone lunch. I would also serve this on a bed of spinach as a salad, and I think it would be fantastic. The zip of the balsamic beets, when paired with the rice and buttery walnuts was just perfect.
The preparation methods between the two recipes also had varied reactions from out panelists. Everyone loved the presentation of the yellow rice stuffed pepper, since it came with its lid. Again, just another way it was more interesting. The orange pepper is also supposed to be cooked more before being steamed in the oven. I personally found this to be overcooked, and again, the yellow pepper wins out. If I were to make the quinoa version again, I would simply roast the pepper instead of adding the water as the recipe indicates.
Next week’s feature brings dessert: two different chocolate brownie recipes of which our panelists had a hard time choosing a favourite.