Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dinner is What You Make of It!

I've wanted to try stuffed peppers for a while, so I set out to try my hand at them last week. I had to search around to find a recipe that suited my preferences and ended up consolidating my favorite ideas from 3 versions that I found online. I was quite pleased with the results! I would've liked them to have more kick, so I will try adding more cayenne pepper or topping them with a spicy salsa next time.

Here's what I did:

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers:
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup quinoa
1 clove garlic
1/2 diced onion
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 15oz can corn (rinsed and drained)
Cilantro, chili, cumin, onion, cayenne, pepper to taste
3 bell peppers, sliced down the middle and seeded

Bring quinoa to a boil in veggie broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, adding a bit more water if needed. Once water is almost fully absorbed, add diced garlic, onion, and cilantro to quinoa. Stir frequently. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, beans, corn, and seasonings. Heat until thoroughly warm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice peppers down the middle, remove seeds and some of white ribbing and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Once filling is finished cooking, load it into your peppers. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

There will be leftover quinoa filling with these measurements, but you can use it all if you buy a couple more peppers. I only cook for two, so I found another good use for my hearty tomato-ey filling!

I planned to make some Mexican-esque food that week and realized that the leftover filling would be a great rice substitute for bean tostadas! One meal - 2 uses!

So I threw together a variation of my easy black beans (this time adding pinto beans and cilantro into the mix) and coupled the beans with the quinoa filling on a warm corn tortilla. I topped that goodness with some avocado slices and lime juice. Maybe it's my Mexican-food-bias talking, but I thought this meal was a blast!

Bean and Quinoa Tostadas:
Quinoa Filling: Recipe used for stuffed peppers (above)

Bean filling:

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup water
1 onion
3 cloves garlic (pureed with onion)
Cilantro to taste
Pepper to taste
Cumin, chili, cayenne, and onion powders to taste
Splash of vinegar

Cook beans with water in medium pot on medium-high heat. Add garlic/onion puree. Begin seasoning to taste. Stir frequently.

Tortillas: For a less (supposedly) "whole wheat" and definitely less processed option, try an authentic Mexican corn tortilla. They boast less calories, carbs, fat, salt, and cryptic ingredients than flour tortillas. Toast them in a dry pan until a little browned on both sides.

Topping suggestions: Avocado slices, hot sauce, salsa, lime juice, lettuce, or anything else you fancy! 


  1. Mmmm to both! I love stuffed peppers

  2. Me too! Any suggestions on how to get the filling a little more complex/spicy? I can't take too much heat, but I wanted a more savory edge with 'em.

  3. Definitely trying these recipes soon!

  4. Awesome! Let me know how they come out for you. :)

  5. Roast a jalapeño, deseeded. Then finely chop adding as much kick as you can handle.

  6. Great idea! I like heat to have a flavor of its own... not just heat for heat's sake. So does Zach... And he loves spice, so I've been meaning to cook with jalapenos for him. Thanks for the suggestion!