Monday, November 8, 2010

sunday - black bean and quinoa-stuffed bell peppers

The filling in this tasty stuffed bell pepper dish would make a great side dish on its own, but it's also a nice vegetarian entrée. I based the dish on this recipe from the Humane Society's website (who knew the Humane Society had recipes?). The original recipe was written by Isa Chandra-Moskowitz, author of Vegan with a Vengeance--I changed quite a bit based on the ingredients I had on hand, including adding cheese (if you want to keep the recipe vegan, simply omit the cheese). We also had an arugula salad with goat cheese and pepitas (pumpkin seeds), tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Black Bean and Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 large red bell peppers
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup salsa (I used tomatillo salsa), plus additional for serving
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Add the peppers to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully remove peppers with tongs, draining any water from inside the cavities. Set aside.

Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender (or cook according to package instructions). Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cooked quinoa and beans, and stir until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in salsa and cheese (if using).
Stuff each pepper with the filling. Stand them upright in a baking dish, and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with additional salsa, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

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