Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
I must say, I am becoming quite the vegetarian! I’ve actually been a
great pretty good vegan, not to toot my own horn or anything, but it isn’t a very easy transition. Especially for a Personal Chef, who for the most part has to cater to her clients needs and wants. I think the hardest thing for me to cut out as a vegan is dairy, ugh, okay fish is really hard too. I mean I never really desire anything creamy or covered in a layer of cheese but I do love my fair share of fresh parmesean. Even goat cheese I used in a LOT of my recipes. It’s also hard to transition when you offer to still cook for clients who aren’t vegetarians. Anyway, before I veer too far off subject let me share with you the newest addition to my vegan collection.
These stuffed peppers are SO easy to make. You can even prep them the night before and toss them in the frig with cooking instructions in hopes that your roomie (or significant other) gets home before you to pop them in the oven. Feel free to play around with your own assortment of veggies.
Ingredients: (recipes adapted from Kimberly Snyder)
6 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow)
1 medium white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup minced basil
3 cups spinach, chopped well
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp low-sodium tamari
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dry quinoa (soaked over night, rinsed well before using)
2 cups water (or low sodium vegetable stock/broth)
Make an incision at the rounded top of each pepper, about 1 to 1/2 inches from the stem. Cut all around the stem in an even circle. Then pull out the stem and the seeds. Discard the stem and reserve the pepper tops to chop and add to the filling. Clean out the inside of the pepper and discard of any seeds.
Bring water to a boil in medium size sauce pan. Add the quinoa and simmer, covered, until cooked (about 12-15 minutes). Strain quinoa and reserve.
In your largest saute pan over medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil. Add garlic and gently cook. Then add the onions, and stir until the onions become translucent. Add the broccoli, spinach, carrot and chopped pepper tops and gently cook for a few minutes. Add the basil, tamari, sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked quinoa and stir everything together real well.
Adjust the seasoning to your taste. The mixture should be slightly saltier than your taste, as the seasoning with be less concentrated when we stuff the plain bell peppers. Once you are satisfied with your filling, spoon it into each pepper, right up to the top.
Place the peppers tightly together in a glass baking dish so they remain upright. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil just before serving.