Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa , (pronounced Keen-wah) so healthy and easy to digest. The ancient Incas called quinoa the “mother grain” and revered it as sacred. High in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans.

How can you not want to eat this stuff. A favorite at my house, I make these all the time. For added moisture try placing them in a shallow roasting pan in a bath of pureed red peppers or tomatoes, keep’s the dish moist and it’s good way to use up those veggies.

Ingredients:

2 or so tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 15 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 – 2 cups quinoa
3 large carrots, grated
1 1/2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella
4 large red & yellow bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

Directions: 1. Heat oil in LARGE heavy skillet/saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin & garlic, and saute 1 minute. Stir in spinach & drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. 2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots & 3 – 4 cups water (depending on how much quinoa you use). Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low & simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. You can stir in 1 cup of the cheese at this point if you like – I waited because it makes it easier to freeze & keep extras in the fridge without the cheese – I added the cheese in at baking. Season with salt & pepper. 3. Preheat oven to 350F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish. 4. Fill each bell pepper with a heaping 3/4 cup quinoa mixture, & place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, sprinkle with salt & pepper then generously divide cheese amoung the tops. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops are browned. Let stand 5 minutes, and drizzle with pan juices just before serving.

This dish freezes well for future meals!

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