When I first heard about quinoa, I was utterly amazed. While it is particularly important that vegetarians are aware of it, I believe it’s important that everyone becomes familiar with this “gold of the Incas.” Quinoa is highly nutritional, filling, versatile, relatively inexpensive (especially when purchased in bulk), and tasty. Here are some facts:
- Quinoa is considered to be a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids.
- Quinoa is part of the Goosefoot family, which includes beets, chard, and spinach.
- Quinoa is gluten-free and, therefore, easy to digest.
That said, I am on a bit of a mission to try as many quinoa dishes as possible—it’s such an amazing thing! I came across a recipe for quinoa stuffed red peppers and figured, with a few alterations, I would love this dish. This recipe proved to be simple and quite delicious. Just as I made some changes, you can as well. This recipe lends itself perfectly to small tweaks and variations.
First, I want to briefly explain how to cook quinoa and roast red peppers for the purpose of this recipe.
Roasting red peppers:
Preheat over to 450° F
Wash and dry the peppers. Place them on the bottom of the oven (not directly above the lit flame below though). Turn every couple minutes (once side is blackened a little) and continue until all sides have been blackened.
Cooking the quinoa:
Generally, use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water (when making a savory quinoa dish, I like to use vegetable stock instead. I find it gives it more flavor). One cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked.
Sauté about 1/3 cup diced onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add 1 cup quinoa and continue to sauté for one minute. Put quinoa onion mixture into a saucepan filled with 2 cups liquid (whatever kind you choose). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Ok, onward and upward!
Quinoa stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Recipe adapted from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine
This original recipe yielded way too much quinoa to fill my 2 large red peppers (also taking into account that I made an extra cup of quinoa). Keep this in mind. I suggest either filling more peppers with the quinoa mixture, using extra large peppers, cutting the recipe in half, or embracing the leftovers (what I’m doing).
2 large red bell peppers, roasted
2 cups quinoa, cooked (I ended up with about 3)
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup sour cream
salt (because I used salted vegetable stock, I omitted this)
black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F
Roast the peppers, using method above. Cut off the tops of the peppers (keep them), scoop out the insides, including the seeds, and discard.
Combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spoon into peppers.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes.