Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

Whoever invented stuffed vegetables was a creative genius. The compact goodness, with plentiful stuffing choices, makes a great meal. I have a list of stuffing and vegetables that I’d like to pair together. But this week the mood for a good cheesy, creamy,  either grain or pasta based, stuffing was heightened. So the search for the right ingredients began.

Curiosity led me to try quinoa for my vegetable stuffing base. I have heard about the grain a lot but have never tried it before. So I had to see what the excitement was all about. I grabbed a small bag of quinoa from the market and learned from the back of it that the grain makes a great substitute for rice and couscous. Right there and then, my cooking planning process began. I stood in the produce aisle, totally switched off from my surrounding, meditating on my next steps. An image of stuffed red bell peppers entered my mind. Next I imagined mixing the cooked quinoa with unsalted butter, light shredded mozzarella, halved grape tomatoes, onions, and a little bit of chop parsley. Then I visualized stuffing the mixture of quinoa into the bell peppers and liking the end result. Here’s the product of my food meditation 🙂

The real cooking process was as easy as I had pictured it in my mind. And even better, the result was as tasty as I had hoped for. Quinoa’s subtle nutty flavor and soft crunchy texture pair well with the sweet  and tender red bell peppers and tomatoes and with the savory cheese. I imagine the grain would be great in different styles of cooking too. Ideas already pop up in my head for the next quinoa-based meal. I’ll be sure to write them down and give them a try. More to come later!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • ¼ chopped onions
  • A handful of halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 handful of light shredded mozzarella
  • 3 red bell peppers (remove the top and the seeds)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a small pot, cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir and bring to boil. Close with a lid and let cook for 20 minutes (I followed the cooking instruction on the bag).
  • After 20 minutes, turn the heat off, add butter and stir until it melts
  • Add the shredded mozzarella
  • Add the grape tomatoes, onions, parsley, salt, and pepper into the mixture and mix well
  • Scoop the mixture and fill up the bell peppers
  • Top with a little bit more of mozzarella
  • Using your fingers, coat the outer part of the pepper with a little bit of olive oil
  • Place the stuffed bell peppers on a baking dish, add a little water on the bottom of the dish (like two tablespoon of water). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bell peppers become a bit wrinkly and soft.
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2 thoughts on “Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

  1. At a friend’s wedding last weekend, I had a quinoa stuffed tomato and it was delicious! I’m going to have to try this, with veggie stock of course :).

    • Mmm, stuffing quinoa in tomatoes sounds good too! Yes, please try and let me know how you like it. You could also mix quinoa with arugula, artichoke hearts, and roasted red pepper, and then add lemon vinaigrette for your salad. You’ll love it 🙂

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