Quinoa stuffed bell peppers

There is a story behind this choice of recipe for dinner. It starts on most Sunday evenings as I sit with the paper to determine my grocery list for the week. As a lacto-vegetarian, I rely on certain key produce to add to the flavor of my cooking. Most of the time this is bell peppers, which not only adds color but a certain spicy sweetness as well. Anyone who’s done any grocery shopping knows that bell peppers are EXPENSIVE. I’m talking, $2 per. Anyway, so in the past three weeks when peppers were on sale, I bought a LOT; so many that I had to chop some up and freeze them. 

I wanted to make stuffed peppers for a long time, so having a few extra was a good reason to do so. My inspiration came from this recipe found on Pinterest, but like with anything and as the recipe says I customized a little to account for cooking only for Pathik & I and for certain ingredients I didn’t have on hand.

For 2 medium-sized bell peppers ( serving size 1 pepper each, 2 servings total in recipe)

Ingredients
2 tsp canola oil
pinch of ground cumin
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 stalks green onion
1/4 shredded green chile pepper
1/4 cup canned kernel corn
1/4 cup canned or pre-steamed garbanzo beans
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup feta and pepper jack cheese crumbles
2 bell peppers of any color (I used one green and one red)
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the quinoa. Once the quinoa returns to a boil, simmer on low covered until the water is absorbed. Then turn off the stove and keep the quinoa covered, it will continue to cook in the steam. This is a GENIUS method I got from some other recipe; the quinoa are nice and fluffy. I’ll have to try the same ratios with rice to see if it works as great. My rice is always so mushy.

2. On a stovetop skillet, warm oil and sprinkle in cumin. Once the cumin starts to sizzle, add onion green onion, and green chile pepper. Once the onions caramelize, add corn and garbanzo beans. Since the latter are already cooked, you can add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste soon after. * I used garbanzo beans because I didn’t have any pre-steamed black beans and I didn’t want to use canned black beans. I try to avoid canned food as much as possible but pre-steamed and frozen corn kernels from summer cobs is just a bit too much to have on hand, so I resort to canned corn when needed.
Turn down the burner to a simmer until the quinoa is cooked.

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3. Chop off the stems and core out the peppers you will be using. Spoon generous amounts of quinoa mixture into each pepper, sprinking cheese in between spoonfuls and arranging on top. Bake peppers on a lined sheet in the oven for 30 mins.

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