Wow! I am on a roll this summer with the Meatless Monday recipes! Yup…you guessed it…here’s another one. Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Fresh bell peppers (I used red, yellow and orange peppers, being horribly prejudiced against the green ones. I swear they taste different -and not in a good way- from their orange, red and yellow cousins) stuffed with a mixture of quinoa, black beans, spicy grilled corn, green chilis, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and lots of ooey-gooey mexican blend cheeses. No meat in sight, but plenty of spicy fresh flavour!
This recipe has got all of the things I’ve been obsessed with this summer, quinoa, grilled corn, and fresh veggies. I’m still completely smitten with quinoa. If you’ve been following along with me, you’ve already seen me blog a couple of truly tasty quinoa recipes here in the recent past, like the Caprese Quinoa Bake and the Thyme Mushroom Quinoa Risotto, and I’m sure there will be more to come. It’s not often that you can find something that tastes great and is also really good for you, being protein packed, high in fiber, phosphorus and magnesium, a good source of calcium and having high levels of antioxidants and omega 3’s. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free for all of you gluten intolerants out there.What a fantastic meal! And with no meat, it fits the vegetarian bill as well. But you hard-core carnivores shouldn’t despair, you could just add a bit of ground turkey/ground beef or if you really wanted to keep that Mexican vibe and add even more of a kicked up spicy flavour you could add in some chorizo sausage.
As good as that chorizo sounds, I think I’m going to stick to the meat free version. I’ve told you about the points I think I am somehow awarded (surely someone is keeping score…) for every meatless meal and these little pepper gems are so yummy, the meat is just not necessary. I tell you, the husband and I love these Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers just the way they are… Zesty, spicy, hearty AND healthy! You just can’t go wrong!
Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
recipe adapted from: Barbells & Bellinis
- 6 bell peppers (I used assorted)
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, drained
- 1 cup of quinoa, cooked per directions
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh spicy grilled corn, recipe below (can use frozen or canned corn if you must)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 4 oz. diced green chilis
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder)
- 3 teaspoons of cilantro
- 1 teaspoons of salt
- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like your food)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 pound of mexican blend, or pepper jack cheese (whatever ‘ya got around) shredded
- Even move Cilantro for garnish
- Crumbled Cotija Cheese, fresh sliced avocado and sour cream for serving
Cut tops off of the bell peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions. After onions cook for about 5 minutes or until they soften. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic, cilantro, salt and red pepper and cook until beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa, diced tomatoes, diced green chilis, grilled corn and black beans, cooking for another 3 minutes. Turn stove off. Stuff peppers with the quinoa mixture and place in a casserole dish or dutch oven (I used one of my favourite Le Creuset pans). Top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375º F for 40 minutes. Remove foil in last 10 minutes of cooking. Top with cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese. Serve along with fresh slices of avocado and sour cream.
******Carnivore Alert: If you just can’t bear the thought of a meatless meal, (hey…no judgement here…) add 1 lb. of ground turkey or beef into the pan after you cook the onions and proceed with the directions as written above.
Spicy Grilled Corn
- 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- ¼ tsp chili powder
Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.
Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )