I was recently intimidated by the number of bell peppers in my home garden. I hate to waste fresh vegetables, so appealed for help on the Monroe Facebook Page. I got lots of helpful suggestions, including a recipe from Vegetarian Times for Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers. Well, the ‘stuffing’ was so good, I decided it could stand on its own. I tweaked it a bit to suit what I had on hand that day (always good to use more veggies!). Here’s what I came up with.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 2 large handfuls of whatever greens you have (something sturdy like spinach, chard or kale is best)
- 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes, halved, or equivalent amount large tomatoes, diced
- 1 small zucchini, cubed
- 1 medium turnip, cut into cubes
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed well in a sieve under running water
- 3 large carrots, grated (1½ cups)
- 1 c grated Jack or cheddar cheese, (divided)
- Your favorite light-colored vinegar, to taste
- Fresh herbs, to taste
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in greens. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, turnip, zucchini (or whatever other veg you wish, *minus* the tomatoes) and 1.75 c water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. If there is excess cooking liquid, carefully strain most of it from the pan.
3. Stir in 1 cup cheese, followed by the tomatoes. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of your favorite vinegar (sherry or white wine would be good here) and some fresh herbs (chives, cilantro or parsley would be yummy). Delicious hot or cold.