Side Note: Today is my 8th snow day. I doubt that I would have time to post twice in the past two days otherwise. Above is my car and parking spot. I’ve shoveled out twice in the past 18 hours.
Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
I have been attempting to make a new recipe each weekend. Nick usually whips up breakfast for us and I feel obliged to at least make one meal. Otherwise, we test out many of the restaurants in his Fairview Heights neighborhood (Thai, Italian, Sushi, Mexican…Yum!) and I beg for ice cream each night. Weekend meals deserve to be more special than the mundane things we eat all week when we are apart, right?
The recipe below is a southwestern variation of the stuffed peppers, Mama Anspach usually makes with rice, ground beef and Velveeta cheese. About two weekends ago, I decided to whip these up for our Saturday night dinner. These are super filling and made enough for two meals for both Nick and I. This was also my first time cooking quinoa (pronounced Key-mwah). Took us about 20 minutes of wondering around and then asking an employee to find the small, hardly discernible bag in the grocery store. It was worth it! Enjoy 🙂
This picture was taken prior to popping them in the oven and adding the cheese. It shows how much extra filling there was!
4 large peppers (green, red, yellow, orange..It’s up to you!)
1 pkg quinoa (In the grain section of the grocery store. I bought the kind that requires boiling in water, same as you cook rice. I also bought the kind that included red barley.)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup Ortega mild taco sauce (This adds moisture to the mix so be generous!)
Seasoning to taste (Your preference here. I added tbspn. cumin and tbspn. chili powder for a kick!)
Shredded cheddar cheese ( Generous amounts but your preference also.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the quinoa by the directions on the package (prep is very similar to rice boiled on stove top). Cut the tops and insides out of the 4 peppers so that they are hollow. Boil water on the stovetop and add the 4 hollowed peppers in with the open sides face down. Heat for 15 minutes or until peppers darken in color. Pull out peppers to cool and sit in pan that allows them to sit up right. (I used a loaf pan which held all 4 of my peppers upright!) In large bowl, mix quinoa, diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, onion, taco sauce and seasoning. Scoop this mixture into the 4 peppers. (I used my ice cream scooper which made this very easy.) I also had lots of excess filling that I put in the pan to surround the peppers. Add shredded cheese on top of each pepper and cover with tin foil. Heat in oven at 350 for 40-45 minutes. I kept the tin foil on until the last 1o minutes and then took it off to let the cheese melt. Tastes delicious served with tortilla chips and a side of salsa.