The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers – It’s pretty hot out…

why don’t I put the oven on to 375 for an hour or so?

What was I thinking? My friend posted a recipe for quinoa stuffed squash on my Facebook wall (DANG another plug for Zuckerberg! You haven’t won YET, Zuckerberg!) and, having only multi-colored peppers (on sale at Ralph’s for $1 each!) I decided to stuff some peppers. All I thought about was the lightness, the sweet & the crunch. Not the HEAT.

But I digress… these came out AWESOME!!
After being inspired by my friend’s squash version, I did use a recipe from Christie’s Corner to which I made some changes.

Here’s what you need:

and this:

(I always seem to forget at least one ingredient in the ingredients picture!)

First, pre-heat oven to 375.

2 tbsp oil (canola, olive – whatever you have!)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1-2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup frozen or 2 ears fresh corn (if fresh, cut off cob)
1/2 cup grated carrots (or whatever you can bear grating!)
3/4 c quinoa
1.5 c vegetable broth
1 c grated cheese (swiss/gruyere if you can find it!)

Heat oil in sauce pan on medium-high heat.

Add chopped onions/celery.

Watch 2 year old rearrange silverware drawer with sticky hands.

When onions & celery are soft & translucent, add spices. It will get pasty & dry-ish so have your can of tomatoes ready to dump in! The original recipe said to use a 28 oz can but I didn’t read the directions so I used a 14.5 or whatever those smaller cans are. Do whatever you want! If you go for more tomatoes, it says to drain them first but I wouldn’t.

NOTE: Do NOT cut your corn off the cob onto a FLAT PLATE unless you feel like washing the kitchen floor afterwards.

Who is holding that corn up?

Add black beans, carrots, corn & 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa.

Now, stir it and if it seems to “dry” i.e. there’s no way in $#@@ that quinoa is going to cook (for those who don’t cook quinoa it is a grain that needs water the way rice does so think about that kind of liquid), add 1.5 cups of veggie broth. If yours has a lot of liquid, hold off on the broth! Mine needed liquid so I added the broth.

If you’ve never cooked quinoa, how do you know when it’s done? Easy – it will have these tiny white “threads” coming out of each grain. You can also taste it and I recommend you do taste it! It should have a pleasing crunchiness. Not to be confused with a bad crunchiness, signaling the need for longer cooking time. The threads look like this:

Now, prep your peppers. The author of Christie’s Corner cuts her peppers sideways so they won’t fall over but I just can’t make that radical move. Instead, I cut just the tips off the bottoms of the peppers to make them flat. See, like this?

Don’t go crazy with this! You don’t want holes in the bottom or your filling will come out. But now that I think about it, who cares? It’ll be good and the filling won’t come out b/c it’s standing up anyway.
See how it stands up:

I didn’t tell you this but you should’ve cut the tops off the peppers first. Don’t cut too close to the stem or it’ll fall out of that pretty ring. Or do. It really doesn’t matter!

Scoop out the seeds/innards & throw into the compost! (If you have a yard & want to start composting – let me know!)

Hold onto the cute little tops!

Now add 1 c grated cheese. I can’t recommend the swiss/gruyere combination cheese enough. The gruyere has so much flavor that you don’t need that much which keeps the dish healthier and the swiss keeps it from being too rich/overpowering. Add salt & pepper to taste & stir really well.

I tasted the filling and didn’t find it spicy enough for my tastebuds but it was plenty spicy for the little monsters. So I separated about 1/3 of the filling into a bowl which I saved for the monsters. To the other 2/3rds (which I intended to stuff the peppers with) I added chopped jar jalapenos. Obviously you can add any kind of heat you like/have! Fresh is great but I am addicted to these hot jalapenos in a jar that I get at Ralph’s. Mezzetta Deli-Sliced HOT Jalapenos. Mmmmmmm…

Now stuff those peppers & put the lids on.

Stand them upright in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake about 25 minutes. Take out of oven, remove lids & add grated cheese to tops of peppers, put back in for 10-15 minutes.

Take out & serve. These would be good with some crusty bread. Maddie ate hers with a spoon with the pepper rings as a side. YUM I can’t believe how much flavor these have and they are a very light yet satisfying dish for the summer.

As a main course – probably 2 peppers per adult. I had a LOT of extra filling but it’s really good the next day too! Enjoy and please comment on my blog if you make this recipe especially if you altered the recipe at all. Thank you!

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4 comments on Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers – It’s pretty hot out…

  1. Mike
    July 28, 2011 at 11:59 am (2644 days ago)

    these look awesome! The pics of the kids are great. It’s helpful to know toddlers will eat them. If I could find all these ingredients more easily over here I would be making these recipes every day. I’m definitely going to make an effort to try it. I’ll keep you posted.

    Btw, is G eating these?

  2. Christina
    July 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm (2644 days ago)

    Mike -

    Yes, G ate two of them in quick succession. He actually likes these! It is so weird.

    In response for your ingredients quest in Paris: might I suggest you simply hop in the car and drive around town looking for them?

  3. Christina
    July 30, 2011 at 7:42 am (2642 days ago)

    One follow-up I’d like to make is that you can make the quinoa w/out the peppers and serve it as a side to a green salad & crusty bread. YUM!!! I ate it up to 3 days later & it was really tasty still!

  4. Lib
    August 14, 2011 at 5:27 am (2628 days ago)

    Yum! I’m making these, possibly tonight!!! :) xoxo

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