Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa Dressing


Warm-weather green bell peppers make a delicious plate for mushroom and quinoa dressing. 


Green Bell Peppers


I love what happens when a warm-weather vegetable is so outstanding that I can't pass it by. Last Saturday, the star of the in-season show at Barton Creek Farmer's Market was green bell pepper. I needed two. I came home with a full bag. How about bell pepper stuffed with mushroom-quinoa dressing?

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa - golden, red, black or mixed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp EVOO
1 cup broth
4 medium bell peppers
1 chopped red onion
4 cloves diced garlic
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 lb mushrooms
2 finely diced jalapeno peppers
1 cup finely diced carrots
2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning to taste

Preparation

1. Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside when done.

2. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease baking pan with olive oil. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil until it sizzles.

4. Saute' onion and garlic until they start to caramelize.

5. Add celery, jalapeno, carrot; saute' until softened.

6. Add mushrooms and saute' until tender.

7. Add 3/4 cup broth to the vegetables, add spices and reduce on low heat for a few minutes.

8. Fold gently into the quinoa. Adjust seasoning to taste.

9. When well mixed, add 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Reserve a little cheese for the top.

10. Split bell pepper into halves. Brush back side with olive oil. Place in greased pan.

11. Fill bell pepper with quinoa stuffing, gently packing it down. Mound it or save the extra for a side dish. Delicious by itself.

12. Drizzle with the remainder of the broth, top each with Parmesan cheese.

13. Cover pan snugly with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour - until peppers are tender and dressing is hot.




This recipe for stuffed bell peppers provides for lots of variations. Use red, yellow or orange bell peppers. Try rice rather than quinoa. Add ground beef or turkey.

Go French with thyme and tarragon instead of the chili powder and cumin. Go Asian with ginger and Chinese five-spice powder. Go South Asian with garam marsala. Go... well you get the picture.

But whatever spices you choose, nothing like fresh, natural, organic, local bell peppers when they are in season.

~Adapted from too many recipes to recall. But we started with one from Whole Foods for Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa
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