This was the very first recipe I made as a vegetarian. Before January I did not know what quinoa was and now I cook with it weekly. Quinoa (keen-wa) is truly a well-rounded food. It has been consumed for thousands of years in South America, and is filled with protein and nutrients. It is also a gluten-free product.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 1 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 15oz of fresh salsa
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 3 large carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups grated pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
1. Cook quinoa according to directions and use vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavor.
2. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in drained tomatoes and fresh salsa. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
3. Stir in black beans and carrots. Cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes to let flavors mix. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
5. Fill each pepper with quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes more, or until the cheese has melted. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.
Per 1/2 stuffed pepper: Calories: 279, Protein: 14g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 36g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 518mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: 9g