Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
4 medium red, orange or yellow peppers
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seed (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb mushrooms, diced
1 red or yellow sweet pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
sea salt to taste
½ cup minced parsley, cilantro or fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 375º
Prepare the Quinoa
Wash the quinoa and soak for a minimum of 3 hours or up to overnight.*
Soaking the grain makes it sweeter and easier to digest.
*please note that the longer the grain soaks the less liquid and time will be needed for cooking.
Using medium high heat bring the water or vegetable stock to a boil in a small pot, add a pinch of sea salt and then the quinoa. Cover the pot and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat and cook till done, about 10 minutes or so depending on how long the quinoa soaked.
(Forgot to soak the quinoa? No problem, just wash well, and bring 2 cups of water or vegetable stock to a boil, add quinoa, bring back to a boil and cook for up to 20 minutes.)
You will know the quinoa is done when you see the opaque “tail”. White quinoa will develop a translucent look throughout. Black and red quinoa are a little more difficult to tell by look if it is cooked. Taste it to make sure.
Prepare the Peppers
Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all the ribs and seeds. If necessary, cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up. Make sure you don’t cut a hole in the bottom of the peppers 😉
Standing the peppers up, in an 8 x 8-inch square baking dish, put ¼ inch of water in the dish and bake the peppers for about 10 minutes, until they soften.
Get the Veggies Ready
Put a small amount of oil in a heavy pot and heat. Add mustard seed and cumin and cook till the mustard seed pops a bit. This will happen quickly.
Next add the onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it becomes translucent, adding a pinch of sea salt to help it sweat. When the onions have cooked enough add the garlic, celery, peppers, mushrooms, tomato paste and ginger. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and the mushrooms have released their liquid.
Putting it All Together
Put the cooked quinoa in a bowl and fluff it, mix with the veg and add parsley, cilantro or basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
Stuff the peppers with the filling and drizzle the tops with olive oil. Fill the baking dish with
3/4-inch hot water and bake until the filling is golden and the stuffed peppers are cooked through, about 30 – 45 minutes.
Variations on a theme:
Add sun dried tomato and/or olives, chopped marinated artichokes or capers at the end of cooking the veggies. If you like hot spices cook with a bit of dried ground chili pepper, chipotle or cayenne.
Or try my old favorite: To cook the quinoa replace half the water with salad dressing. This adds flavor to the grain. It’s surprisingly delicious!
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