Quin-what?

Recently, a friend introduced me to quinoa (pronounced: keen-wha), a gluten-free grain high in protein. It is made similar to rice (1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water). I have been swapping it out for brown rice and whole wheat pasta, but wanted to try something different.

After a quick Google search, I found a recipe for Black Bean Quinoa Salad and thought it sounded delicious. I was NOT disappointed. I don’t like cilantro so I didn’t use it. I think the fresh limes really added something to it (and I don’t normally like limes.)

I also found a delicious Black Bean Stuffed Pepper recipe, and decided to mix the two. I used the lime dressing from the Black Bean Quinoa Salad lime dressing instead of the vinegarette recommended in the Black Bean Stuffed Pepper recipe (I didn’t have any on hand, and wasn’t really sure how to make one so I winged it.)

Here is the recipe I used:

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

Serves 6

  • 1 and 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 7 small bell peppers
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 small diced tomato, diced and seeded (optional if using salsa)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 cup jicama, diced (I couldn’t find this, so didn’t use it, but I would next time)
  • 1 can black beans, drained well
  • 1/2 cup of lime dressing (recipe below)
  • salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 to 2 cups of your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce
Vinegarette:
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Spike seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of chile powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, I seeded the tomato (I cut it in half, and scooped all the seeds out), then chopped it very small (the size of the corn). Then I chopped up one bell pepper and the onion, the same size. I drained a can of black beans and rinsed them well (keep running water of them in the collander until there are no more bubbles), and I thawed the frozen corn so it wouldn’t be liquid-y.

I used quinoa that I had left over in the fridge, but if you need to make it fresh, you can follow the directions on the box. Add the quinoa, veggies, and black beans in a bowl and mix them together.

To prepare the “vinegarette”, squeeze one fresh lime, and mix with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of Spike seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin, and 1/2 a teaspoon of Chile Powder. Pour the mixture over the quinoa/veggie mixture.

Cut the tops off of six bell peppers, take the seeds out, and stand them up in a baking dish (I used a 9 x13″ dish.) If they don’t stand on their own, you can cut part of the bottom off to make it flat.

Fill the bell peppers with the quinoa mixture. In a small bowl, mix panko and parmesan cheese together and sprinkle on top of bell peppers. (If I had to do this again, I would probably use a 2% Mexican cheese.) Spray the tops of the bell peppers with the olive oil spray. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes or until the insides are cooked and tops are browned.

Serve with salsa or enchilada sauce and/or tortilla chips.

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