So far this year I’ve steered clear of stuffed peppers. Quite frankly, they bore me. Around ten years ago they went through a boom period where every restaurant menu featured them as the vegetarian option (alongside the requisite vegetable lasagne). There’s also the fact that for some unknown reason none of the kids have ever entertained peppers in the past. I’ve never been able to fathom this as I thought the crunchy sweetness of them raw as crudités would appeal to them, and cooked they are completely inoffensive.
This year long battle with Mathilde’s eating versus my blogging has discovered that she actually likes peppers: orange in particular, followed by yellow then red. So I’ve taken this as a green light to stuff them, jazzing them up with a quinoa based stuffing.
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 6 x peppers, halved and deseeded
- 150g quinoa (you could always use cooked rice in place if you prefer)
- approx 450ml veg stock (you could use water but I always prefer to flavour mine with stock)
- 1 x small onion, finely chopped
- 1 x garlic clove, crushed
- 1 x courgette, finely diced
- 1 x 400g tin kidney or black beans, drained
- 1-2 avocados, chipped into bite-sized pieces
- small bunch spring onions, chopped
- handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 200g cheddar, grated
Cook the quinoa in the stock for 15 minutes then leave off the heat to absorb the rest of the liquid. Set aside.
Slice the peppers lengthways and brush the skins with olive oil. Place in a baking tray or lined tin.
Slowly sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil with the lid on so it doesn’t colour. Add the courgette, followed by the beans. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the cooked quinoa and stir in the coriander.
Stuff the quinoa mixture in the peppers. Cover with foil and bake at 180C for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, topping with grated cheese for the final 10 minutes of cooking time.
Garnish with the chopped avocado and spring onion and serve with sour cream and salsa.
I love the myriad of colour this dish produces from the peppers and fortunately it tastes pretty good too. However, this one readdresses the balance, as tonight it was The Man complaining he doesn’t like quinoa whilst the kids were happily tucking in. He discovered he does quite like it when it’s flavoured well, so this story has a happy ending.