Quinoa stuffed peppers

I can honestly say that I make stuffed peppers about twice each cool season, and I have never made them the same way twice.  Sometimes I stuff them with quinoa & veggies, sometimes with brown rice.  When I was a little girl my Mom stuffed green peppers with hamburger & rice and spaghetti sauce.  Some folks use sausage in their stuffing.  What I am trying to say is that there’s no limit to the flavor combinations you can make.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 rib Celery, chopped

½ of an Onion, chopped

1 Carrot, chopped

2 cloves Garlic

½ small Eggplant, chopped

6 Mushrooms, chopped

½ of a Summer squash, chopped

½ of a Zucchini, chopped

Handful of Spinach, sliced into ribbons

½ can of Aduki beans

Parmesan cheese

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups Tomato sauce (half for the stuffing, half for the baking dish)

2-4 Red peppers (depending on how many you plan to stuff)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a large fry pan heat the olive oil, then add the celery, onion and carrot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes
  • In a small sauce pan bring the quinoa & broth to a boil, then turn heat down to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes

  • To the fry pan add garlic, eggplant, mushrooms, summer squash and zucchini and cook for 6 to 8 minutes

  • Set a large pot full of salted water to boil, cut the tops off of the peppers and remove their seeds while leaving the peppers whole
  • Add to the fry pan the spinach and beans, and any seasonings you might care for (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cayenne, crushed red pepper, parsley- for instance)
  • Add the whole peppers to the boiling water, making sure that they are totally submerged, and cook for 3 minutes

  • Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetables into the fry pan, pour in 1 cup of tomato sauce, and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to come together, add Parmesan cheese to your taste

  • Pull the cooked peppers out of the boiling water and run under cool water to stop the cooking
  • Spray a loaf pan (for 2 peppers) or square baking dish (for 4 peppers) with baking spray and pour 1 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan
  • Stuff peppers with quinoa & vegetable mixture and place in baking pan
  • Cover baking dish with foil to prevent peppers from burning and bake for 20 minutes

Note: none of these ingredients are set in stone.  If you don’t like something- leave it out.  If you want to add things like artichoke hearts, olives, peas, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, anything– just add them.

We had the peppers as a second course, after spinach salads with blueberries & tomatoes.

J

Quinoa stuffing

Yesterday’s Farmer’s market had the best selection of fruits and vegetables yet this year, so I stocked up.   I had fresh garlic and eggplant, summer squash and zucchini, farm fresh eggs, and the list could go on and on.  A few nights ago my sister-in-law was over for dinner and talking about spaghetti and meatballs (which I love).  I decided that I would make myself some meatballs this week so I grabbed some ground turkey breast meat at the grocery store.  Since Duncan woke me up at 6:00 this morning I had nothing else to do before the rest of the human world awakes, so I decided to get started on those meatballs.

I began with a saute of celery, onion, and shallot and added to that mushrooms, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, baby spinach, fresh basil, and assorted dried herbs.  Then I tossed in some cooked quinoa and shaved over a bit of Pecorino Romano.

Quinoa stuffing

Quinoa stuffing

I took about half of this mixture and tossed it in with my ground turkey, added an egg and some herbed bread crumbs and made meatballs.  I think that I’ll mix the other half with some tomato sauce for a stuffed pepper mixture.  If it doesn’t make it into a pepper it’ll be because I ate it as a side dish to eggplant stackers.