Quinoa Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

My first attempt with this lovely grain was such a pleasant surprise. I was expecting more of an oatmeal consistency, but found it soft and smooth. This is one new item I am going to get very attached to.

I skipped one of the steps by complete accident but found that it worked probably just as good if not better than the directions.  Will give it a second go with the original recipe directions soon. (As you can see I added the Quinoa directly into the dish versus boiling and putting in after.) Saved a step this way too.

I absolutely love red bell peppers, but you could also make this as a side dish and serve with some pita toasts or Naan bread. Pop in some smoked Paprika for some variation as well. Mmmm!

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa Stuffing

Quinoa Stuffing

Adapted from Vegetarian Time

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 8-oz. pkg. mushrooms, stems removed and saved for another use and caps sliced very thin
1/2 of a poblano pepper, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved

Quinoa Stuffing

Quinoa Stuffing

1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and poblano pepper and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Stir in quinoa, carrots, and 1 3/4 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Combine quinoa and carrots with black beans, 1 cup of cheese, and the onion mixture from the first step, . Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

Like I said, this was really a pleasant surprise. So much so that I have found many new items for summer salads and dishes that I will be sharing here soon.

Til then, eat well, sleep well and enjoy this gorgeous spring.

My apron of choice……my Napa Ruffle.

Bon Appetit.