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Brazilian-Inspired Vegetarian Moqueca

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Servings: 4 people
Author: Gretchen


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 pound assorted bell peppers
  • ½ kabocha squash (or substitute pumpkin, butternut squash, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons red palm oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 14-oz can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 13.5-oz can of coconut milk
  • cilantro for garnish

To serve:

  • rice for 4


Prepare the vegetables:

  • Finely dice the onion. Cut the 1 pound of bell peppers into bite-sized strips. Peel, gut, and cube the 1/2 kabocha squash.

Fry the onions and canned tomato:

  • In a large pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of palm oil (or substitute) until it begins to shimmer, then add the diced onion and salt to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to turn golden, then add the canned tomatoes (along with their juices).
  • Fry, stirring constantly, for several minutes. The tomato sauce should begin to darken just slightly. As you stir, break up the whole tomatoes into pieces.
  • Add the coconut milk and stir to combine.

Cook the squash and bell peppers:

  • Add the cubed squash to the mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the pepper strips. Continue to cook over medium heat until the pepper strips are tender, around 15 minutes.

Season and serve:

  • Taste the moqueca and add salt, if necessary. Serve with rice, garnished with fresh cilantro.