Eco-friendly Lent recipe: protein and plant stuffed peppers

This article appears in the Recipes for an ecofriendly Lent feature series. View the full series.


A bell pepper stuffed with tempeh, cauliflower rice and vegetables (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)
A bell pepper stuffed with tempeh, cauliflower rice and vegetables (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)

Editor's Note: In this series, Elizabeth Varga will explore how fasting from meat impacts our relationships with self, others, the rest of creation and God. Her reflections and recipes will be posted on the Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent 2022. To receive this series via email, sign up for EarthBeat Reflections.

"And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved " (Acts 2:42–47).

Members of the early church practiced fellowship. They broke bread together in their homes.

Today also we are called to break bread together. We do this formally in the Mass and we can also do this more informally as we build community.

Have you noticed the way people tend to gather around food?

How often do you gather with others around a table?

Do you feel a sense of fellowship when you eat with others?

Has anyone ever provided a meal for you or your family? How did it feel to receive such hospitality?

Have you ever provided a meal for a family or community member? How did it feel to be generous with your hospitality?

Sharing a meal with friends can be a great means to establish and develop community. You don’t have to cook a seven-course meal to gather. Offering to grab coffee with a new friend or baking brownies for a neighbor are simple ways to practice fellowship.

What would it be like to create a regular habit of breaking bread with others?

Can you invite a friend (new or old) to your house for dinner? Or go out for a coffee together?

Recipe: Stuffed peppers

This is a vegetable-forward version of traditional stuffed peppers. These plant-based stuffed peppers use tempeh (a block of soybeans) to replace the beef, and cauliflower rice as a sub for white rice.


A bell pepper stuffed with tempeh, cauliflower rice and vegetables (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)
A bell pepper stuffed with tempeh, cauliflower rice and vegetables (At Elizabeth's Table/Elizabeth Varga)


  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 12 ounces cauliflower rice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Cut tops off the peppers. Scoop out insides, then replace the tops. Arrange in the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the onions and cook on medium heat until they start to soften. Use a splash of water if necessary to keep the onion from sticking.
  4. Add the crumbled tempeh, cauliflower rice, garlic powder, salt and chili powder. Cook until the tempeh and rice are warmed through.
  5. Add the mushrooms, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the mushrooms are just soft.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly among all the peppers. Sprinkle with additional parsley, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Find recipe notes, substitutions and other nutritional information on

Elizabeth Varga

Elizabeth Varga is the founder of At Elizabeth’s Table, a blog that explores the relationship between plant-based food and the Catholic faith. While she studied economics at Indiana University, she always had a passion for healthy living and decided to follow her dream to become a full-time blogger and food photographer. Find her blog at

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