Wednesday, March 23, 2016

meatless monday: southwestern stuffed peppers

ok, I know you're thinking that I've lost it, posting a meatless monday on a wednesday. I just couldn't wait to share our engagement so meatless monday had to shift to meatless wednesday this week! :)

stuffed peppers have been popular for a while now, and while they are definitely eye catching and beautiful, I have historically not really been a fan of peppers. once, on a korean air flight, I was starving and gave in to some red pepper and cream cheese appetizer and didn't hate it. recently, on my trip to croatia, I was flooded with amazing vegetarian options at the hotels. croatia was just short of a vegetarian's dream. 

as it came time for the lunch buffet on one of our training days, I felt for my familiar granola bar in my bag - my plan B in case of meat-only meal options. I'm used to losing weight on international trips and I don't hate it. croatia was totally different. as I scoped out the lunch line, I was surprised to find cold veggie pasta salads in jars, tomato and mozzarella cups, cheesy pastas, and cute little yellow stuffed peppers. how great is it to be adventurous when you didn't have to cook the meal yourself right?! I added a stuffed pepper to my plate with little investment. 

I'm sure you can tell the moral of my story by now, given that I decided to cook stuffed peppers at home. these cute little stuffed yellow peppers were packed with flavor and were totally filling. not to mention, this was my first time cooking with quinoa. what can I say, sometimes I'm a late adopter.














ingredients:

4 large bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange)
3/4 cup dry quinoa
15 oz. can black beans
1-2 cups corn
2 green onions
2/3 cup salsa
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. chili powder
optional: monterey jack cheese, avocado, cilantro, drizzle of ranch, more salsa...

instructions:

1. cook quinoa according to package directions with 1.5 cups water/broth.

2. meanwhile, halve bell peppers and remove stems, seeds and ribs.

3. rinse and drain black beans and corn, and slice green onions.

4. in a large mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa and all other ingredients except bell peppers. stir to combine.

5. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6. place pepper halves in a 9x13 inch glass pan, and generously stuff them with the quinoa filling. lightly press down to compact and fill all the crevices.

7. cover with tin foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. remove foil and add cheese if desired, and bake 10 minutes more. serve with any desired toppings, I recommended avocado and ranch dressing!

recipe adapted from the garden grazer (check out her awesome veggie blog!)

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