When i see a colorful display of bell peppers in the supermarkets, I get tempted to buy them whether or not I have any plans to use them right away. Most often, they go into an omelette or some veggie stir fry. Then I found this perfect recipe with quinoa and other veggies stuffed inside a bell pepper, which is roasted in oven to perfection and that changed everything about my idea of cooking with bell peppers.
The stuffing can be made ahead and you can roast the peppers before its time to serve. You can use other veggies of your choice in the stuffing. These gorgeous peppers will make a great vegan entrée in a party. The peppers are quite filling and is a great choice for a quick weeknight dinner. We had ours paired with cauliflower soup and it was a perfect meal for a chilly, winter night.
1 cup quinoa
7 yellow, orange and red bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2lb sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped ( I used cilantro)
1/4lb baby spinach
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
1. Dry roast quinoa until they begin to pop and lightly brown. Take 2 cups of water in a saucepan, add quinoa and bring it to a rolling boil. Cook covered for 15 minutes on low flame. Remove from flame, let it rest for 5minutes, then gently fluff with a fork. Keep this aside.
2. Core, seed and chop 1 bell pepper. Slice the tops off the other 6 peppers and remove core and seeds.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions till they turn transparent. This takes about 10 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes.
5. Add carrots and chopped bell pepper and cook until soft.
6. Stir in parsley and spinach. As the spinach wilts, stir in cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cooked quinoa, tossing gently to combine.
7. Add salt, pepper and cashews and cook for another minute.
8. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 13X9 inch baking pan.
9. Pack the filling evenly into the 6 bell peppers. Replace the top of each pepper and arrange upright in the prepared pan.
10. Cover snugly with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and juicy. This takes about an hour.