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Restaurant reviews and food news from Ann Arbor Observer reviewers M.B. Lewis and Lee Lawrence, and assorted opinionated Ann Arborites.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: quinoa stuffed red peppers, by Rachel Cook

Rachel Cook's quinoa stuffed red peppers, June, 2012

Cross-posted from 42 degrees north

It's my very first Thrifty Thursday post! These weekly installments will feature recipes with ingredients that are cheap and common pantry staples!

Stuffed red peppers have been around for ages, but quinoa stuffed red peppers?! Quinoa is a superfood full of fiber, protein, and amino acids. Coupled with an assortment of veggies and topped with a smattering of cheese it not only makes a delicious and vegetarian dinner, but a very affordable one at that. With price per person for my recipe coming out to less than 4 dollars per pepper (which is by the way packed with protein, fiber, and vegetable nutrition) you'll have money to go out and grab an ice cream from Washtenaw Dairy for dessert!

Being Italian, I added chopped artichoke, chard, red onion, and tomato to my mixture and after baking I topped the whole thing with some good ole parmesan cheese! Other good combinations could include Greek inspired spinach and feta. Or perhaps pizza stuffed peppers- I'm thinking chopped pepperoni and mozzarella cheese would definitely appeal to the kiddies. Or how about taco stuffed peppers with ground beef, spices like chili powder and cumin, a little pepper jack and salsa! Finally, I am a huge fan of breakfast-for-dinner meals and you could even make a stuffing with bacon, egg, and cheese mixed into the quinoa for a frittata-like creation. The whole idea for this "Thrifty Thursday" meal is that it can be made with whatever veggies and cheese you have on hand in your pantry and fridge so get creative! The possibilities are endless!

The essentials

4 bell peppers

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 cup assorted vegetables, lighting sauteed

cup cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together quinoa with veggies and cheeses. Stuff peppers with mixture. Bake in oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Broil peppers for the last couple of minutes to achieve crispy, crunchy crust!

Afterthoughts

- If your quinoa mixture seems a little on the dry side, add some chicken stock or tomato sauce to the mix before stuffing the peppers- it'll ensure they come out of the oven steamy and juicy.

- One great thing about stuffed peppers is that they can be made ahead of time and then popped into the oven at 350 degrees to bake for 20-30 minutes whenever hunger strikes. Also, you could wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap and freeze them to be served on a day where the work to be done will be turning on the stove!


posted by John Hilton at 10:44 a.m. | 0 comments


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