Stuffed Yellow Peppers

Today I decided to share one of my favorite lunch/dinner recipes! I will also link this blog post to my recipes page for future reference if you decide to try it 🙂

Recipe of the week: Stuffed Yellow Peppers (with quinoa, corn, and feta cheese)
From the book: Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison

The story behind this recipe:
During my senior year as an undergrad, I lived with a vegetarian (she also was a lit major and loved yoga).  We both had different cookbooks, so we periodically let each other borrow one to find a new recipe. I flipped through the pages and came across a full page color picture of these stuffed yellow peppers (also cover)! After l read the ingredients, I decided this seemed like something I would enjoy making and eating. It has taken me a few tries to make it ‘my own’ (meaning ‘faster and easier’).  I will share both the original and my version of the recipe. Since I only cook for me, this lasts quite a while! It says ‘serves 4‘, but they would be very large portions (I’d say lasts me 6-8 small meals).  It is very filling and is full of great stuff!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c quinoa, rinsed well several times
  • 2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, yes I am a Rachel Ray fan and will blog about some of her recipes too!)
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onions) thinly sliced *not a fan of these so I omit
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced *to make less spicy remove seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 c fresh or frozen corn *I use frozen cuz its easier
  • 1 bunch spinach *I use a good 2-3 handfuls since spinach=awesome superfood
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 lb feta cheese, cubed *I buy crumbled feta and ‘eyeball’ the amount I want
  • 1 lg red onion chopped *I like sweet onions
  • 4 yellow and/or orange bell peppers **
**For original recipe prepare ‘insides’ as below and stuff peppers as outlined by #1-4
**Because I like to eat asap, I slice the bell peppers into thin strips and sautee them with the jalapenos in step 2. I am done much sooner than the other way (but doesn’t look as pretty!).
How you make this shindig:
  1. Make the quinoa. This can be done 2 different ways: in a rice cooker (always comes out perfect) or on the stove (where things go wrong for me). If you do this in a rice cooker: add the quinoa (1 cup), 2 cups water and a dash of salt to the rice cooker. Press button. Presto in 15ish minutes. By stove: bring 2 cups water to a boil, then the add the quinoa and salt. Stir, cover and simmer over low heat for 12-15min until water is absorbed and they do their curly cue bit (see image on the right). “Fluff” quinoa with fork (sometimes a bit clumpy). I start this step and once the quinoa is cooking I begin #2.
  2. Make the “stuffing”: Heat a large skillet with EVOO. Add the scallions and chiles, cook over medium heat (about 2 min). Then add garlic, cumin, corn and spinach. Cook until spinach is slightly wilted. Add the cilantro, quinoa and feta. If your skillet isn’t large enough to handle the immense proportion of food, add all of it to a big bowl. If you cooked the sliced bell peppers, congrats you are done! If you want to stuff and roast them see #3.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 400F and pre-cook bell peppers: slice the peppers in half lengthwise without removing the tops or stems. Then cut out the membranes and seeds. At this point I would put them in the microwave for a min or two until just barely soft. The original version says to simmer them in a salted water bath until they are tender to the touch of a knife (4-5min). Either way, once they are precooked, fill them with the ‘suffing’ and set them in a baking dish.  Drizzle a little extra EVOO over the peppers (I like to put some EVOO down on the baking dish to prevent ‘sticking’).
  4. Bake until heated through about 20-30min. You could also broil for a couple minutes at the end to achieve that ‘roasted’ effect like on the cover photo.
Now EAT and I hope you enjoy!!!
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