When I came across this recipe, it took me back to when I was a child and my mom made stuffed peppers; if I recall correctly they were stuffed with a hamburger and rice mixture. Here, they are made with quinoa (which I find I truly like a lot) and chopped veggies. These would definitely appease my vegetarian daughter. I must remember to share this with her!
Reading through the recipe I was surprised that one serving was a whole bell pepper (these are cut in half and filled) I thought for sure, half a bell pepper would be more than enough and there would be leftovers for lunch the next day. However, Andy & I devoured a whole one each! They are surprisingly light and not over-filling.
This is one I would make again, but I would increase the amount of spices. Cumin is one of my favorites and I really could not detect it in this dish. I did add extra hot pepper flakes as I always do for I like things spicy, which made for just the right amount of heat.
Success meter (1-3): 3
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 cup raw quinoa
6 medium bell peppers
3 Tbl. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
¾ cup diced celery
1 cup diced zucchini
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 ½ to 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly oil a baking pan.
Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under running water. In a covered pot, bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa is soft and the water absorbed.
While the quinoa cooks, cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and, leaving the stems on, seed them. Brush the bell pepper shells with about 2 tablespoons of the oil, inside and out. Place them cut side down on the prepared baking pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened and slightly browned, but not collapsed. When the bell peppers are roasted, reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, warm the remaining tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened. Stir in the cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, carrots, celery, zucchini, and corn. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
Combine the sautéed vegetables and the cooked quinoa and add salt to taste. Turn over the roasted pepper shells and spoon filling into each half. Sprinkle each bell pepper half with some of the grated cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.