There are so many ways to make stuffed peppers: some use ground beef and rice, some use rice and cheese, others only ground beef ox mixed minced meat. They can be quite heavy, that’s why I decided to try making quinoa stuffed peppers, using quinoa instead of rice and black beans instead of ground beef. Quinoa and black beans make a healthy and light combination that’s also vegetarian friendly, plus you can swap the cheese on top for avocado slices to make it vegan as well. Quinoa stuffed peppers can be a good solution if you love stuffed peppers as much as I do (I’ve been eating them since I was a small kid), but you are feeling like staying light: they make a delicious meal with a tossed salad, or served with mashed or baked potatoes. To make this recipe, use green bell peppers or red bell peppers, or any combination of colors.
4-5 large bell peppers
¼ of a red onion, finely chopped
½ of a jalapeño, ribbed and seeded
½ cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water or chicken broth
Zest from one lime
Juice from one lime
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8oz can of corn, drained
½ tablespoon taco seasoning
Shredded cheese to top the peppers
Salt and pepper, to taste
To prepare some delicious quinoa stuffed peppers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, drop the peppers in and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water with tongs and place upside-down onto a paper towel to dry. Next combine quinoa and water (or vegetable broth) in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid for approximately 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa. Stir in lime zest, lime juice, and chopped cilantro if all other ingredients are ready to go.
If not, remove from heat and keep covered until other ingredients are ready before adding zest and cilantro. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onion becomes translucent. Season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, stir together onion and pepper mixture, rinsed black beans, corn, and taco seasoning. Add cilantro and lime quinoa and stir until all ingredients are mixed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and fill a deep baking dish with just enough water to cover the bottom.
Spoon mixture into peppers and place in prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. If you’re making without cheese, top with avocado slices and serve. If you are making them with cheese, switch oven to broil setting, top peppers with cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 2 or 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Use tongs to remove peppers from baking dish and plate. Serve quinoa stuffed peppers with a side of salsa or sour cream and a fresh salad.