Chef Linda
Linda Soper-Kolton, Chef, came to the Sanctuary as a guest chef to share her love of compassionate cooking in our then-fledgling culinary program. Lured by the magic of the Sanctuary, her love of animals and the urgency of our mission, Linda stayed on to lead and grow the culinary program, inspiring and educating with love, patience, and delicious food.
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BBQ Jackfruit and Polenta Stuffed Peppers

By Chef Linda

This recipe is a delicious example of how to use seasonal foods, like juicy bell peppers, to create hearty, satisfying meat-free meals. Canned jackfruit is versatile, minimally processed, and found in most grocery stores today: you can also purchase it online. And jackfruit is the perfect blank slate to absorb the smoky, sweet, spicy flavors of BBQ sauce. Creamy, comforting polenta pairs beautifully with the seasoned jackfruit and beans, creating a plump, luscious base that fills out the peppers perfectly. Perfect for a potluck or family dinner, these stuffed peppers will surely become your new summer favorite!

Ingredients

 4 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green)
 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional (substitute with water for oil-free)
 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
 3 large cloves garlic, minced
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 tablespoon chili powder
 1 teaspoon ground cumin
 ½ teaspoon ground chipotle powder (or substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper)
 1 (20-ounce) can jackfruit in brine, drained, rinsed, and chopped
 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
 Juice from 1 large lime
 4 cups water
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
 1 teaspoon onion powder
 ½ teaspoon salt
 1 cup instant polenta
Optional Toppings
 Shredded vegan cheese, optional
 Diced avocado
 Diced tomatoes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment. Carefully core the peppers by cutting around the stem and pulling it out. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the pith and remaining seeds. Place the peppers cut-side down on the baking sheet. Pour about ⅓ of a cup of water onto the tray and place it in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the peppers are soft but still hold their shape.

In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and chipotle. Cook for a minute or two until spices are fragrant. Add the jackfruit and beans. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the flavors have combined. Stir in the BBQ sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Squeeze in lime juice, stir, and set aside.

To make the polenta, bring water, salt, garlic and onion powders to a gentle boil. Whisk in polenta, and cook while stirring continuously for another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on package instructions. The polenta should be loose and spoonable, not firm. Remove from heat.

Arrange peppers in a baking dish that’s small enough that the peppers touch each other: this will help provide support when you add the filling. Spoon several tablespoons of polenta into each pepper, followed by several spoonfuls of jackfruit and bean mixture. Top with shredded vegan cheese, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure everything is evenly heated. Serve immediately, topped with avocado and tomato, if you like.

BBQ Jackfruit and Polenta Stuffed Peppers

BBQ Jackfruit and Polenta Stuffed Peppers

DifficultyModerate
YIELDS
Makes 8 pepper halves

BBQ jackfruit and polenta stuffed peppers
INGREDIENTS

 4 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green)
 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional (substitute with water for oil-free)
 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
 3 large cloves garlic, minced
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 tablespoon chili powder
 1 teaspoon ground cumin
 ½ teaspoon ground chipotle powder (or substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper)
 1 (20-ounce) can jackfruit in brine, drained, rinsed, and chopped
 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
 Juice from 1 large lime
 4 cups water
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
 1 teaspoon onion powder
 ½ teaspoon salt
 1 cup instant polenta
Optional Toppings
 Shredded vegan cheese, optional
 Diced avocado
 Diced tomatoes

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment. Carefully core the peppers by cutting around the stem and pulling it out. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the pith and remaining seeds. Place the peppers cut-side down on the baking sheet. Pour about ⅓ of a cup of water onto the tray and place it in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the peppers are soft but still hold their shape.

In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and chipotle. Cook for a minute or two until spices are fragrant. Add the jackfruit and beans. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the flavors have combined. Stir in the BBQ sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Squeeze in lime juice, stir, and set aside.

To make the polenta, bring water, salt, garlic and onion powders to a gentle boil. Whisk in polenta, and cook while stirring continuously for another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on package instructions. The polenta should be loose and spoonable, not firm. Remove from heat.

Arrange peppers in a baking dish that’s small enough that the peppers touch each other: this will help provide support when you add the filling. Spoon several tablespoons of polenta into each pepper, followed by several spoonfuls of jackfruit and bean mixture. Top with shredded vegan cheese, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes to ensure everything is evenly heated. Serve immediately, topped with avocado and tomato, if you like.

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