Meatless Monday: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Tonight’s recipe is a twist on a classic: stuffed peppers.
The 70s food item is traditionally made with ground beef and tomato sauce, but here at For the Love of Food, we keep things meatless on Mondays.
Today’s recipe is a product of yesterday’s Sneak Peek. Remember this?
I sometimes get these strange cravings for healthy foods and all last week I had a serious hankering for quinoa. My boyfriend asked me what exactly quinoa was on the way to the supermarket and I said “it’s a grain that’s very high in fiber and protein. It’s ancient–the
Incans Incas called it the “mother of all grains.”
After he made fun of me for saying “Incans”, we went into the grocery store and found the delicious grain. It basically repeated word for word on the package what I told him and he accused me of plagiarism. I swear, cross my heart, that I’ve never bought quinoa before. My knowledge about it must have come from a tv show or reading material. I was offended, to say the least.
Anyway, quinoa can be pretty expensive. I got about two cups (uncooked) of the stuff for almost 6 bucks. But what a woman wants, a woman gets. Hmph.
Then I cooked my quinoa, fed it to my skeptical parents, and made stuffed peppers out of it. These are a little tex-mex and if I had frozen corn, you can bet your bottom dollar it’d be in the mix. Enjoy these stuffed peppers—I guarantee anyone in your household will love them. No one missed the meat and as long as you keep mum about the whole “quinoa” thing, everyone will eat up with no questions asked.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
The “Stuffing” and Such
- Quinoa (3 cups cooked, which is 1 cup dry)
- 4 bellpeppers (any color), with the tops cut off and de-seeded and the ribs taken out.
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. EVOO
- 1 Tbsp. cumin (yup, a whole tablespoon of the stuff!)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 package fresh spinach
- 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes, drained with the liquid reserved
- 1 14.5-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese, divided
Stuff the Peppers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the onion and celery in the EVOO for about 5 minutes, or until soft and transluscent.
- Sprinkle on the cumin and add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the spinach and drained tomatoes, stirring to wilt the spinach.
- Once the spinach has wilted, stir in the black beans (and corn, if using)
- Add the quinoa and stir to completely combine all ingredients.
- Add 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese and stir to melt.
- Pour the reserved liquid from the tomatoes in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Fill each pepper with plenty of the mixture.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 45 minute-1 hour.
- Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for another 15 minutes, or until cheese is browned.
- Let sit for 5 minutes
- Drizzle the peppers with the tomato juice (which will thicken and turn into more of a “sauce”) in the bottom of the pan and serve.