Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
My family has always loved stuffed peppers, and this quinoa version is absolutely wonderful, filled with quinoa, brown rice and lots of veggies. I like to use a rainbow of colored peppers, orange, red, yellow to and color and sweet pepper flavor.
Recipe type: Entree, Vegan
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
Small amount of oil for preparing pan
Peppers and Filling:
- 2 to 4 tablespoons oil, divided Tip: I like to use olive oil, however coconut or vegetable oils are also good to use.
- 1 cup dry quinoa (makes about 3 cups cooked)
- 2 cups vegetable broth, optional, to use when preparing quinoa in place of water
- 1 cup dry whole grain brown rice (makes about 3 cups cooked) Tip: it’s ok to substitute 2 cups of dry instant whole grain brown rice which will make about 2⅔ cups cooked rice.
- 6 large bell peppers, Tip: use any color peppers you prefer, I like to use a combination of red yellow and orange peppers.
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium sized zucchini, diced
- about 10 small Cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
- about ½ can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can Mexican style recipe tomatoes, diced
- 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bunch cilantro, mostly the leaves, roughly chopped
- Prepare one large baking dish with sides, such as a 12x17x1 inch Jelly Roll pan or 9x13 inch pan. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over bottom of pan. Tip: line pan with foil and drizzle oil over foil if desired for easy clean-up after baking. Tip: You may need to use more than one baking dish to fit all the peppers.
- Quinoa and Brown Rice: Cook quinoa and brown rice according to package directions. When cooked set aside while preparing the rest of the filling. Tip: I like to use vegetable broth in place of water when cooking quinoa to provide extra flavor.
- Peppers: Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and membranes. Arrange peppers in prepared baking dish, set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Filling: In a very large heavy-bottomed cooking skillet, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the onions and garlic. Cook and stir onions and garlic with a spatula or wooden spoon until partially cooked, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini and mushrooms and sauté 3 to 5 minutes more or until the zucchini and mushrooms are partially tender. Tip: it’s better to keep the veggies still crisp-tender as they will continue cooking in the oven.
- Add the black beans, tomatoes, about ½ can of the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir and heat until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat
- Stir in the chopped cilantro.
- Fill the prepared peppers with the filling. Tip: you will probably have extra filling which can be refrigerated and eaten later by itself as an excellent snack or lunch.
- Pour the remaining ½ can of tomato sauce over the filled peppers.
- Bake: Cover the peppers with foil and bake 45 to 60 minutes or until the peppers are tender but still a bit crisp.