Friday, March 8, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

We have a huge bag of quinoa from Costco, so I began searching for some new recipes to try out on my family.  I also wanted to use up some green peppers that would be going bad soon, so my end result was quinoa stuffed peppers.   I substituted the rice for quinoa and they were delicious!  There are a few classic recipes when I’ll typically pull out my trusty ‘ol Betty Crocker cookbook (circa1971) and this is where I started for the dish. 

A few quick notes before I begin:  1.  My recipe called for 6 green peppers, but I only had 3.  I baked the extra meat/quinoa mixture in a ramekin along with the 3 peppers.   I also didn’t have tomato sauce, so I used a can of crushed tomatoes—worked like a charm.  3.  The recipe called for 2 Tbsp. of onion—I just used the whole onion, chopped.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

What you need:
6 large bell peppers
5 cups boiling salted water
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion  I used a whole onion.
1-1 ½  cups cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped  I used ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz) I used shredded Parmesan.

Heat oven to 350°F.  Cut thin slice from stem end of each bell pepper to remove top of pepper. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers. Cook peppers in the boiling salted water 5 minutes; drain.

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  I cook mine in broth for added flavor.

Cook/brown beef and onion in medium skillet until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain. Stir in quinoa, salt, garlic salt, garlic and 1 cup of the tomato sauce; heat through.

Stuff peppers with beef mixture. Stand peppers upright in ungreased 8-inch square glass baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers.  Cover tightly with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.  I sprinkle mine with cheese right before putting back in oven for the last 15 minutes of baking time.

Adapted from the recipe here.

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