Monday, November 30, 2009

Quinoa Curiosity

I knew exactly who to go to when I wanted to talk about the superfood I have been hearing so much about. I asked my brother in law if he as ever eaten quinoa and of course being the healthfood fanatic that he is, he knew all about the hearty grain. This is the guy whose two year old daughter asks for salad when she is hungry for a snack. He told me that it is the hottest celebrity healthfood since pomegranate (which I found very funny coming from him). I asked how he cooked it and he told me that he hasn't used it in too many unique recipes to date. Quinoa is rich in protein, with only a few carbohydrates and a bit of healthy fats, and is nutritionally superior to rice, corn, and wheat. Any food with this much going for it was worth a try. I was expecting not to like it, because unlike my two year old niece I never crave salad. In fact, I rarely enjoy the flavor and textures of anything super duper healthy. I was pleasantly surprised. Quinoa had a great texture and flavor and was the perfect anchor to this kicked up recipe.

Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers
Adapted from Cooking Light July 1997

  • 4 small green bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut pepper in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Set aside. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 13 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell peppers, onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in green onions, cilantro, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Stir in 3 tablespoons of enchilada sauce and quinoa.

Spoon 1/2 cup quinoa mixture into each pepper half.

Pour the rest of the can of enchilada sauce into a 9 x 9-inch baking dish; place stuffed peppers in dish.

Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over chiles;

bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts and chiles are thoroughly heated. Spoon enchilada sauce over chiles.


The Novice Chef said...

I have always been hesitant to try Quinoa, so I am glad to see your thoughts on it! The pictures are beautiful by the way! What a fun, colorful dinner!

Trissa said...

Heya! I've never had quinoa - and until today really dont know how to pronounce it! But you stuffed peppers look deliciously healthy.

NikiTheo said...

I love quinoa, it's fantastic! I make it like rice pilaf sometimes and I've also made a healthy version chicken "fried" quinoa. It's a great addition to any meal you normally serve rice or any other grain with.

Micah said...

this is a perfect recipe for my vegan/vegetarian friends on top of looking amazing in general. this blog is total food porn and i love it.

teresa said...

i'm so intrigued with quinoa, one of these days i really am going to try it! this looks wonderful!

Woody said...

I was pleasantly surprised about the taste. I am a fan of super food now.

Shauna said...

We tried quinoa once a while ago, and my husband wasn't a huge fan. I have been meaning to look for some recipes that may doctor it up enough for him to enjoy, and I think this just may be it. Thanks for sharing!!

Abbie said...

This looks good! I've got a half-box of quinoa I've been trying to figure out what to do with; I think I'll try this.

MaryBeth said...

I have never eaten this before but I too have heard many great things about it. I will just simply have to try it soon.

Unplanned Cooking said...

I love quinoa -- the way I like it most is in tabbouleh. My kids like it, too.

small home said...

I have been trying to be a vegan and this is perfect for me! And with all the cheese sprinkled over it, I would love to be a vegan all my life! Thanks!

Victor said...

I never thought of using quinoa as a stuffing, usually it is as a salad dish. Looks good.

Krista said...

I've had quinoa salad, but I've never cooked with it. This does look delicious. Excellent application!

Katherine Aucoin said...

You have me curious about quinona. Your pepper look oh so good!

Sweet and Savory said...

I love the idea of using quinoa as the fillng in stuffed peppers. I have been using quinoa. The last thing I made with it was quinoa cakes which should be called patties.

I would guess you can substitute it for rice, in many recipes. The fun is seeing what we can do with it.

Thanks for sharing this. I have to try it.

Stephanie Quilao said...

Quinoa is one of my absolute favorites! Great recipe :)

Kerstin said...

I just recently got into cooking with quinoa too! This recipe looks great!

phoodie said...

I made this recipe, but the filling only made enough for 3 peppers (6 halves) not the 5 peppers (10 halves) that the recipe called for. Did I make a mistake?

Elizabeth said...


I had really small bell peppers and I also assumed that one of them would be used for the 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers called for later in the ingredient list. So my recipe filled 4 small (8 halves) bell peppers. I have been noticing that the bell peppers are running big in my area. I will adjust the recipe to specify small bell peppers. Thanks for the help.