The other day we were lucky enough to receive a beautiful basket of bell peppers from my sister-in-law’s garden. They were tiny and very colorful: red, green, orange and purple! Once I saw them, I had to stuff them. I used quinoa, because it is the new rice, and added mushrooms, onions and currants. The peppers I used were much smaller than the gargantuan variety found at the grocery store, so we each ate two, rather than one. I like the simplicity of this recipe. Yet, it does take a little time to prepare. And then the baking time is a little long too. But this stuff is killer good over some homemade mashed potatoes.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Bell peppers- 8 small or 4 large
- 3 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
- 2 small cans tomato paste
- 1 large can of whole tomatoes
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 10 Crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine or oil for sauteing
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa. I dropped a cube of veggie bouillon into my rice cooker along with quinoa.
Prepare bell peppers by carefully cutting off top of pepper and removing the stuff inside. Reserve caps.
Directions for Filling:
Saute chopped onions and chopped mushrooms in oil until onions are transparent, about 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in currants.
Once quinoa is finished cooking, combine with currants, onions and mushrooms. Salt to taste.
Directions for Sauce:
Cook fresh basil over medium heat with 1 tsp oil or earth balance until fragrant… about 1-2 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and let simmer about 5-10 minutes.
Spoon quinoa mixture into peppers until they have been filled to the rim. Replace caps and place upright into deep baking dish, preferably one that will fit all peppers snugly, not allowing them to tip over.
Pour sauce around and partially on top of peppers so that sauce comes about half way up sides of peppers in dish.
Bake in preheated oven on middle rack for about an hour and a half. (Regardless of the size of the pepper, the cooking time should be about the same). Halfway through baking time, place aluminum foil loosely over baking dish. Check a few times. If peppers look like they are beginning to dry out, use a small spoon to “re-sauce” the peppers. They will be done when the peppers have lost their “crunch” on the outside. You should be able to easily cut them with a knife from a typical silverware set. Let cool briefly and serve.