Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

I've made stuffed peppers before with rice but this is my first time trying peppers stuffed with quinoa. Quinoa is more popular in South America and was once considered the "gold of the Incas." Quinoa looks and tastes like a grain but is actually related to spinach. It is not only high in protein but also a complete protein, meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Therefore, it is great for adding protein to a vegetarian meal. It is also a good source of manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, making it valuable for people with migraines, diabetes, and atherosclerosis (


3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white)
1 1/2 cup water
3 red bell peppers
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil (extra oil for filling and baking sheet, if need)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tbsp. basil
salt & pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste

First preheat your oven to 350 F. Then, cook the quinoa by bringing the water and quinoa to a boil in a small pot. Then, reduce heat and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

To make the filling, first heat the oil on low heat in a medium pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, onion, garlic, tomato paste, and spices and mix together. You may have to add some more oil to the mix if it is too pasty.

To prepare the peppers, simply chop of the top and remove the inner seeds. To cut down on baking time, you can place the peppers into boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Then, place a third of the filling in each of the peppers. Oil a baking sheet and place stuffed peppers on the sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. If you did not pre-boil the peppers, bake for 1 hour. Finally, remove from oven and serve!

This meal is filling, cheap, and healthy! You can use more vegetables, like mushrooms, in the filling too. Enjoy!

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