I haven’t been doing much experimenting in the kitchen over the last few months – an incredibly busy summer spilled over into fall – which helps to explain the dearth of posts with new recipes. A couple weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner, so I had to get back into the kitchen!
Originally, I thought we should do Mexican since we were having a mix of vegetarians and meat eaters over – we’d be able to give people the option to pick and choose what they wanted. Chris overruled me when he suggested that he make a pot roast instead – the perfect meal for a chilly fall night, and one that I have yet to master. (I have tried and tried and tried to perfect cooking beef, in a form other than “ground,” to no avail. I leave these types of dishes up to him!)
To make sure everyone had something to eat, I decided to whip up some quinoa stuffed peppers to round out the main course. I also decided to stalk Chris while he was making the pot roast so hopefully I could pick up a thing or two. Unfortunately, he kicked me out of the kitchen so I didn’t learn any of his firehouse cooking secrets. (That just ensures that he will always cook these things for me… right?)
Anyway, dinner was a success – we had plenty of food and everyone left full and happy – and the stuffed peppers turned out great!
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
I started with this recipe from Vegetarian Times.com – the only modifications I really made were removing a couple of ingredients.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (½ cup)
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 3 large carrots, grated (1 ½ cups)
- 3/4 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided (optional)
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
- Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
- 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 1 hour.
- If desired, uncover and sprinkle half of the peppers with the 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.