After ranting earlier in ‘Where do we go from here?’ about how we needed to leave the Dark Side (yes…they do have cookies) and follow the yellow brick road to Emerald Green Veggie City, I figured I had better post a pretty damn stupendous recipe. This one is sure to please. All of my six silly eaters love it ( If you haven’t read Seven Silly Eaters to your younger set, don’t wait, go get it! ). This recipe is…drum roll please…good for ya! It tastes awesome! It’s purdy…hence the name and the inspiration! It’s easy peasy! Best of all…it uses up the random veggies that are left in your fridge at any given time! Da-da-da-daaaahhhhh!!!
Carnival Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- 8 large sweet, bell peppers
- 2 cups of quinoa
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 tbs butter or olive oil
- 4 cups finely minced chopped vegetables, use what you have: broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, zucchini, kale, purple cabbage, cauliflower etc. Literally whatever is leftover in your fridge that you and your family like!
- 1 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 cups crumbled feta
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2-3 green onions, fine dice
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground rosemary
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Pre-heat oven to 350°
- In a medium saucepan, add 1 tbs olive oil or butter, warm over medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Gradually add 3 cups of the broth, stir well and cover. Check in ten minutes and if the quinoa isn’t soft enough, gradually add more broth. Once it is to your satisfaction, fluff and set aside. You can make quinoa in a rice cooker, but for some reason…we don’t like it as much…your call!
- Meanwhile, rinse peppers well, carefully cut off the entire top, right at the curve of the pepper. Cut out the inside seeds and carefully remove, tap upside down gently so all the seeds come out.Cut off a thin slice of the bottom of the pepper, so it has a level base to sit on in the oven, otherwise they weeble and they wobble…lol
- Layer a cookie sheet with foil, and place peppers on it, set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp butter or olive oil, honestly…the butter tastes way better IMHO
- Over med heat add the garlic and onion, stir until garlic begins to soften. Gradually add finely chopped vegetable mixture, turn up heat to high
- Depending on vegetables, you may want to add a little bit of water to help out. Add olives, sprinkle spices on & stir-fry for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, in small batches add quinoa, gently stirring to get all the veggies mixed in. Crumble 1 cup of feta in. Taste and season with more salt or other…I apologize, I am such a “tester” while I cook…it evolves as I go along, I encourage you to change out whatever doesn’t suit your tastes with this one…it’ll work no matter what!
- Fill peppers with veggie/quinoa mix, I find a serving spoon works well for this & my kids actually like to help with this task!
- Sprinkle remaining feta on top, place in middle rack of oven for 30 minutes.
We usually have this as a dinner side dish with some kind of meat protein, like grilled salmon. It is filling enough to be enjoyed on it’s own however. You could even add cooked ground turkey or crumbled tofu right into the quinoa mix…or anything chopped up itty bitty really! Then add a salad and voila! I think part of the novelty of this dish is that you get to eat the ‘bowl’ but I really love how the sweet juices of the pepper flavour everything inside…mmmm…now I’m hungry.
“You always want to walk a tight-rope of flavor” – Rick Bayless