26 February 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers


I stole this recipe from Whole Foods, and then improved it, if I do say so myself. I was making this for a dinner with friends, so this recipe produces quite a large quantity of food--enough for at least eleven people with some left over. (which is funny because, with eight siblings, that "large quantity of food" is exactly what my mother needed to make for my family every night for dinner. Since I learned to cook from my mom, I suspect this is why I have such trouble for cooking for small groups of people. But I digress). Anyhow, if you're making these for less people, just halve or third the recipe as needed.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped 

3 cloves garlic
12 oz sliced mushrooms 

4 medium carrots, chopped 

1 bell pepper, chopped (I'd use yellow just for the aesthetic value. But you can use whatever color you'd like)
8 bell peppers, stems removed, seeded, and halved (again, I used a mixture of red, yellow, and orange for aesthetic purposes but you can use whatever color you choose)
6 oz baby spinach 

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
Optional: 2 cups vegetable broth for cooking quinoa
3/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato paste
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

Salt and pepper to taste 

First, prepare the quinoa (See this recipe for instructions). I used 2 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup water for the quinoa, but you could use all water or all broth, depending on your taste or what you have on hand. I just find that cooking it in some broth adds a bit more flavor.

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Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions start to become transparent (about 5 minutes). Then add the mushroom and cook until soft (5-7 minutes). Next add the carrots and peppers and continue cooking until they start to soften (probably another 5ish minutes).

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Mix in the can of tomatoes (don't drain them, but pour in the liquid also), spices, salt and pepper. Then add the spinach in batches. Cook until wilted.

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Then add quinoa, cashews and tomato paste. Adjust spices to taste.

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Place the stuffed pepper in a baking dish. Scoop the mixture into the stuffed peppers, filling each one. Cover tightly with foil and bake on 350 for 1 hour.


Serve warm and enjoy. :)

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