Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bell Pepper with Stuffed Quinoa

I do not know if the meatatarians will envy the vegetarians with this colorful and delicious entrée of bell peppers stuffed with mushrooms, carrots, black bean, quinoa and cashews, but these stuffed peppers are equivalent to a calorie packed meat stuffed peppers.The only thing is that it is super healthy. The quinoa used in this recipe gives it a slight bite and protein.  And of course I can never stay away from my mozarella.  I sprinkled some shredded mozarella before baking it. I know, there is only a certain point where I can control my calorie, but most of the time I try not to skimp on good cheese. For a beautiful presentation, choose a combination of green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers. This recipe also freezes well before baking. Wrap it in a foil and put it into a freezer bag.  I let it thaw for about 1 hour and then bake as normal.


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
7 bell peppers (1 cored, seeded and chopped; tops removed and reserved from remaining 6 then cored and seeded)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup black bean
1 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews
Shredded Mozarella cheese for topping


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and black bean. Stir in cumin and cooked quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper and cashews and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until just warm.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a baking pan or glass baking dish with oil then set aside.

Divide quinoa mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with shredded mozarella and stack them upright in prepared pan. Cover snugly with foil and bake, checking halfway through, until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hour. Transfer to plates and serve.

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