Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

I’ve been hearing about quinoa for a while.  It’s been the featured ingredient on many of the blogs I frequent, and several friends have also sung its’ praises.  It wasn’t until I saw the recipe for quinoa stuffed bell peppers on NolaNova’s blog that the deal was sealed.  Had to make this.  My pictures aren’t as good as hers are, so if you really want to get tempted, go on over to her blog and take a peek!  You’ll quickly find yourself adding the ingredients to YOUR shopping list!  Also, check out Wikipedia to read some about quinoa and why you should start using this healthy grain in YOUR recipes.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

5 green bell peppers
1.5 cup water
3/4 cup quinoa
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (1/2 of one of the ones you bought to stuff)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. minced jalapeno pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 tsp. dried cilantro (or 1 tbsp. fresh minced)
1 tbsp. Tabasco brand soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 can enchilada sauce – medium spice
shredded cheese
Tony’s & Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut each bell pepper in half and remove seeds and all white part from inside.  Place in a casserole sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Wash your quinoa well in a fine mesh strainer, using warm water.  My box said already washed but I washed again anyway, because I hear it’s bitter and not tasty if you don’t wash it.  Empty in to a pot and add the water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.  Cook until all water is absorbed. 

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the chopped onions, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper and garlic.  Saute’ until soft.  Remove from heat and add the green onion, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice.  Mix well, then add to your cooked quinoa.  To this, add 3 tbsp. of enchilada sauce, mix well then taste for seasonings.  At this point I added a little Tony’s and salt. 

Spoon mixture into the hollowed out bell peppers.  Pour the remains of the can of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the casserole and bake, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove and add cheese to the top of each pepper and place back in the oven, uncovered for 10 more minutes, or until cheese has melted and started to brown around the edges.  Spoon the enchilada sauce in the casserole over the peppers and serve.

Quinoa Package

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

The Verdict:  This was surprisingly delicious!!  The quinoa had a great taste and it was filling.  It was hearty enough that you didn’t even miss the meat, honestly I don’t know if my husband even noticed that there was no meat in the dish.  Quinoa is an excellent source of protein though.  This was easy to make and good for you, I will definitely be making it again!

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