I come from a family that loves to stuff vegetables, from grape leaves to zucchini to eggplant to peppers. Often, these recipes call for white rice, but I like to change it up a bit and up the ante on fiber and protein with high-quality grains or seeds, like millet, brown rice or quinoa. This recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers is warm, comforting and full of unique flavors. It is makes for a beautiful presentation. Enjoy!
The glowing benefits of the red pepper:
- is a great source of carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E (antioxidants)
- contains more than twice the amount of vitamin C that is found in the same serving size of oranges
- has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits
- protects vision
- wards off arthritis
- reduces cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and lung cancer
- is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a natural treatment for blood circulation, indigestion, loss of appetite, swelling, frostbite, nausea, vomiting, and phlegm and toxicities.
Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 4 red and green bell peppers
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Handful fresh dill, chopped
- 3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 small tomato
Directions: Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add the quinoa, red onion, chopped red bell pepper, scallion, garlic, dill, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, pine nuts and spices.
Chop off the stem-end of the peppers, about 1 inch down from the top, to create “hats”. Remove the seeds and extra flesh. Then take the quinoa mixture and stuff each pepper to the top. Place in a cooking pot that comfortably holds the bell peppers so that they are able to stand straight up, without falling over. Add a slice of tomato to the top of the quinoa stuffing in each pepper and top it with the peppers’ respective “hats”. You can place other chopped vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, etc.) in between the peppers to help them stay upright. In a separate bowl, mix together the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and about 1.5 cups of water until smooth. Pour the tomato paste liquid around the peppers so that it is about 1 inch from the cut section. You may need to add more water.
Put a lid on the pot and cook it on medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and keep the lid on the pot. Boil for 35-40 minutes.
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