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Peppers Stuffed w/ Minted Quinoa

Confession.  This is the first time I have ever stuffed peppers.  I find stuffing things a bit tedious, and why not just eat the stuffing on its own, with the raw peppers.  But if you are looking for something a little fancy-pants for a party or a celebration, and you want to make a nice visual impression… I’d say this is the way to go.

I really liked the variety of colours in these peppers… PURPLE peppers!  How great is that.  I get excited about any food that is purple though… the beauty of eggplants, the light purple of shallots (I’ve been know to actually coo over these), purple potatoes with either yellow or purple insides.  Nature is so cool.

Confession #2.  I do NOT like green peppers.  I really only dislike 2 foods … that I’ve tried so far.  Green peppers and smoked fish.  For one thing, green peppers are not quite done yet – they are under-ripe red peppers!  They haven’t lived long enough to develop that sweet goodness.  Plus, when cooked they get bitter and slimy.  Ick.  However, if you do like them, raw or cooked, I promise not to judge you.

Other favourite ways to eat (non-green) peppers:

  • In a salad either sliced thinly, diced small or large, depending on my mood
  • Roasted – YUM!  This goes into so many things around here – bean dips, salad dressings, pasta sauce, soups… experiment and tell me your faves!
  • In stir-frys with other veggies and some form of protein – just add them near the end so they don’t get mushy and bitter
  • Sliced in wide pieces used to scoop up dips and spreads

And now… today’s recipe.

Peppers Stuffed w/ Quinoa, Mushrooms, Peas & Mint

What you need:

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander & curry powder
6 medium bell peppers – a variety of colours is more fun
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups chopped brown mushrooms
3 cups chopped fresh spinach (or arugula for more tanginess)
1/2 cup sweet green peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup crumbled light feta (I leave this out when I don’t want dairy, and add sea salt)
2 Tbsp (or more) fresh mint leaves (dry won’t work as well for this.. use the rest in tea!)
1 tsp grated lemon zest (use the juice in the above mentioned tea or in a salad)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

What to do:

  • Cook the quinoa in the broth with the cumin, coriander and curry powder.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers, remove seeds.  Make a small slice on the bottom of each pepper if you don’t want it to wobble over, just be careful not to cut right through.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to cook until they are tender. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa with the mushroom mixture, peas, feta (if using), mint, lemon zest and black pepper.  Scoop filling into the peppers.

  • Place peppers upright in a baking dish, place their tops back on, and cover loosely with foil.  Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until peppers are tender.

~ Recipe inspired by Janet and Greta Podleski in The Looneyspoons Collection

Let me know how it goes!

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