We are currently crying because: one month left of summer.
One more month to soak up the sun, not have to do homework, read for pleasure, and play with our 11 week old pups (see last picture in post).
One of the (many) reasons that we consider summertime the best time is because fresh fruits and vegetables are so accessible. Our favorite way to enjoy these vegetables is to stuff them inside a colorful bell pepper and combine with quinoa and spices.
So, what the heck is quinoa?
Pronounced keen-wa, this grain is a nutritional powerhouse. One of it’s main health benefits, especially for vegetarians, is that it’s SUPER high in protein. All proteins are made up of amino acids. There are two types- essential and nonessential.
Nonessential amino acids– those that your body makes on its own.
Essential amino acids– those that need to be included in your diet.
Quinoa is one of the only plant-based proteins that is “complete.” This means that it provides our bodies with all of the essential amino acids we need to function. It’s also high in fiber, iron, vitamin B2, and an antioxidant called manganese. Yep, you heard right. This grain is pretty special.
The other main star of this show is the bell peppers. We LOVE these things. Seriously, we never go to the grocery store without buying at least fifteen.
Ok, maybe not that many. But they are definitely a staple in our house. One bell pepper contains over 100% of the vitamin C you need per day. Each color provides different amounts of certain nutrients such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Fun fact: the brighter the color, the more nutrients they contain. Just something to consider when grocery shopping. Plus, who doesn’t love a little colorful pizzazz in their meal.
Making this healthy dish is pretty simple. All you have to do is cook the quinoa, add all the veggies and spices, stuff the peppers, and bake!
Another perk of this recipe is that it makes great leftovers. Think: your own portable lunch! It tastes just as delicious cold as it does right out of the oven. The quinoa filling is a great make ahead recipe that can be prepped whenever you have spare time. It can easily be adapted to include any veggies that you have on hand. Use up that giant zucchini from your garden. Add spinach or kale or a spring mix to get those greens in. Even stuff a big, juicy tomato instead of a pepper. Make this recipe your own!
Trust us when we say that you’ll fall in love with these quinoa & veggie stuffed peppers. You’ll want to make them again and again 🙂
P.S. We just had to include this pic of our babies. Look at these growing pups! ❤ Cooper and Cleo.
We plan to fully savor the rest of this summer with these guys ^ and this delightful, nourishing recipe.
Prep time: 30 mins, Total time: about 50 mins
Yield: 6 servings (half a pepper)
3 bell peppers, any color
1 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 (15.5 oz can) black beans
1 1/2 cups corn (fresh or frozen- if frozen, cook according to package instructions)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Adobo
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup freshly grated colby jack cheese, plus more for topping
Topping options: 1 ripe avocado, sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, your favorite salsa
1. In a medium sauce pan, add the quinoa along with 2 cups of water. Partially cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and cook until most of water has evaporated and quinoa is cooked.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers and cut them in half long ways.
3. Place the pepper halves in a 9×13 baking dish open side up.
4. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cheese and spices.
5. Place quinoa mixture into each bell pepper half. There will be some left over- we put the extra in the bottom of the dish to help keep the peppers in place while baking.
6. Sprinkle cheese on top and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers reach desired tenderness. We enjoy ours on the crunchier side, but feel free to bake longer if you would like them softer.
7. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Adapted from: Damn Delicious