Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hey Good Lookin', Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Well, thanks for asking. Hahaha.

I was in the market the other day and green bell peppers were on sale for super cheap. I'm all about seasonal vegetables because there will always be variety, they force creativity, and they're cheaper! All that said, I have no idea if peppers are "in season" during early spring, but the market peeps seemed to think they were. As I stood there selecting the best of the bunch, a woman next to me was doing the same thing. She was one of those people that no matter what, she is going to tell you what she is going to do...and in this case, it was pertaining to her bag of discount peppers. Well, she let me know that since they were large in size, she planned to make stuffed peppers. Thanks for the idea, lady! Then she proceeded to explain how she cooks them and that's when the uh huh's started coming out.

But I have her to thank for tonight's dinner, because I've never made stuffed peppers and did for the first time tonight! I would've normally made a veggie and meat option for my carnivorous husband, but since he just returned back from Germany (aka Land o' Sausage), he requested veggie-only. I quickly Googled my way to a recipe and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Thank you very much, Vegetarian Times! It's rare that I follow any recipe exactly and tonight was no different... but I did follow most of it...

Here's the recipe with my added commentary in blue.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil (or 1 Tbsp....)
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup) (omitted)
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (omitted)
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved (used 1 can, seasoned tomatoes instead)
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (one of my most favorite grains. Protein-rich, delish, and versatile!)
  • 3 large carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups) (food process that baby and get 'er done!)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided (used a mix, but wish I had pepper jack!)
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed (used green and only 2)


1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. (prefer only on top since it can't be tasted well, anyway) Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish. (oops. poured it all out. I used water and mixed with chili powder, garlic, onion powder, cumin, various spices.... purpose is really just to steam the pepper while baking)
4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. (if you like it cheesy, maybe a full slice of cheese as a topper?) Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving. Serves 8. (I stuffed four pepper halves and had about a cup left from the mix I made. I omitted spinach, celery and one whole can of diced tomatoes but added in about 1/4 cup of corn for color and sweetness. I recommend serving with salsa or Sriracha. I <3 Sriracha)

Here are a few photos from the creation:

Unrelated, but did I share what my amazing husband sent while he was away in Germany this past week? Since I'm doing that crazy challenge (sure glad, because otherwise I would've been consuming my weight in margaritas this week!), he made sure to ix nay the chocolate. I bet that doesn't happen all that often! Haha.
Isn't he wonderful? He's back, in my arms, and here to stay. Well, at least until Thursday when he leaves for Texas!


LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Looks like they turned out fabulously.

I received one of those Edible Arrangements from an old friend a few weeks after we lost Jack. They're delicious (and that vase looks super cute too). :)

Olaina.PhotosAndArt said... [Reply to comment]

Yay! I'm so happy that your husband is home, and also thankful for the stuffed peppers recipe. I LOVE stuffed peppers and just might cook them--once I unpack the cookware in our new house.

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

Your stuffed peppers look awesome. I might have to show this recipe to the hubs.

I am glad your spouse is home safe and sound for a few days. Next week my hubs will be gone one night and I am already making plans with friends and trying to keep myself busy while he is away.

Have a good day!

Nik said... [Reply to comment]

Oooh! Those look good. I'll have to try that because I love quinoa too. What a great idea :) Glad Ray is home safe and sound and I hope his Texas trip isn't a long one (at least no ocean crossing this time!)
hugs and love!

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

lol. nik's comment was actually mine. i never pay attention to who is logged on :)

ASP said... [Reply to comment]

I meant to come back and tell you that these green peppers were the boooooooomb! Thanks again for sharing the recipe! ;) I've passed it along to some friends!