NURTITIOUS AND OH-SO-DELICIOUS QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS
6 yellow, orange and/or red peppers
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, chopped (white part and light green)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup baby spinach, packed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounce goat cheese crumbled
1 cup shredded swiss cheese (any other shredded cheese could also work)
Cut the tops off of the peppers (save for filling) and remove the innards (seed and veins) to create ‘cups’. Put peppers into a large pot cover with water. Boil until the peppers are fork tender. Remove from pan and cool and drain on paper towels.
Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of reserved ‘pepper water’ until the mixture comes to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the moisture is absorbed. The quinoa will be translucent in color.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Chop up the edible portion of the pepper tops and add these along with the chopped leeks and garlic to the pan. Sauté until very tender, about 10 minutes, and then add mushrooms and tomatoes to skillet. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are cooked through and tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes more.
Add cooked quinoa, spinach, corn, cilantro, salt and black pepper to the pan and toss to mix. Gently mix in crumbled goat cheese. Scoop the mixture into the peppers to fill each shell.
Top with ¼ cup of shredded cheese.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Garnish with more fresh chopped cilantro and serve.
“What’s quinoa?” That was my family’s response when I created this dish and now it is one of my son’s all-time favorites. Delicious way to get your kids to eat healthier!