Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)
If you aren’t familiar with Quinoa you are in for a treat.
Quinoa is a grain from South America that can be prepared like rice. Unlike rice, Quinoa is a whole balanced protein and is high in fiber and is gluten-free. In its raw state it can be spouted in as little as 2-4 hours activating its natural enzymes and multiplying its vitamin content.
To prepare Quinoa buy the pre-rinsed variety which has the hull or saponins removed. Rinse the grain briefly in cold water. Cook as you would rice. One cup of grain for 2 cups of water or other favored liquid, such as stock or even vegetable juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook 10 -15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed.
With any satisfying meal it is important to not only have good flavors, but combine different textures and even different temperatures. The crunch of the pepper with the mouth texture of the quinoa and the spice of the tomato mixture and topping provide depth of flavor, texture and spice that is hard to find in any dish. For a whole meal serve with a cold tossed salad. This recipe is an original Fat Farm creation. Let me know what you think. – jug
Stuffed Pepper Directions – Recipe
1. Bring a large pot of water (1 to 2 qts) to a boil. Put spinach into boiling water for 30 sec. then remove and quickly place in cold water to stop the cooking process. Reserve.
2. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 additional minute. Stir in spinach and Ro Tel brand tomatoes & green chilies (reserve juice). Cook 5-10 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
3. Stir in kidney beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup crumbled extra firm tofu. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
4. Cut the top off of each bell pepper and with a spoon remove the seeds and as much of the white membrane as possible, then rinse. Fill each bell pepper with heaping amount of the quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, top with 1 T of tomato spread and bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and sauce each with seasoned pan juices before serving.
Note: any remaining stuffing can be frozen for later use.
4 large bell peppers (use multiple colors)
3/4 c of uncooked Quinoa
1 medium onion finely chopped (1 cup)
2 T olive oil
2 ribs of celery, finely chopped (1/2 c)
1 T ground cumin or 1/2 T cumin seeds
2 cloves of minced garlic (2 tsp)
1 cup of extra firm tofu (optional)
1 lb of fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
4 T Tomato Spread or similar *
*This topping can be cheese which would be very tasty but would change the dish from vegan to vegetarian. For my vegan friends, Tofutti brand foods have some acceptable dairy substitutes. Try the health food section of Whole Foods or your local store.
These stuffed peppers can be made and frozen for several months. Frozen peppers make a very fast meal, just put in a 350 deg oven for 30 mins or until completely heated through. – jughandle