Friday, 23 August 2013

:: quinoa and zucchini stuffed peppers ::

In Australia we call red peppers "capsicums", but I decided to call them peppers for this recipe, or my audience on the World Wide Web might be confused. ;-)

Quinoa is so versatile, and after initially thinking it tasted a bit strange, I've grown to love it, especially hot of the stove, with butter melted through. YUM. I've made breakfasts, lunches, snacks and desserts with it. Things like porridge, macaroons, slices and sushi. And anything that calls for rice, you can pretty much make a straight substitute for quinoa. It has a nearly identical cooking time too.

When I decided to do a quinoa stuffed capsicum, I browsed dozens of recipes but ended up making up a recipe with my own style and with what I had on hand. You can change it up too if you wish.

Quinoa & Zucchini Stuffed Peppers

Makes 8 halves

4 large capsicums/peppers
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 onion, diced finely
2 teas minced garlic
1 large carrot, grated
1 zucchini, quartered lengthways and sliced really thin
2 teas turmeric
1 teas cumin
handful of chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
grated cheese
1. Firstly get the quinoa (rinsed) into a saucepan with 500ml (2 cups) boiling water. Let this simmer with the lid slightly off until all the water is soaked up (about 15-20 mins). Put the lid back on and let it rest while you prepare everything else.
2. Slice your capsicums down the centre, and carefully cut out the seeds. Lay cut-side down onto a lined baking tray, drizzle some olive/coconut oil over them, bit of salt and pepper, and chuck in the oven for 15mins at 200C.
3. Heat some oil in a frying pan, sauté the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes till just soft, then add all the other ingredients, except the cheese. Let it all get nice and limp and tasty.
4. When you think the veg mix is cooked through, add about 3/4 of your cooked quinoa (keep the remainder for your breakfast in the morn or put in the freezer till you figure out what to do with it. A cup worth of cooked quinoa in the freezer has come in handy for me many times!)
5. By now your capsicums will be done. Turn them over with tongs, spoon the quinoa mixture into each and pack it in with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle grated cheese of your choice (parmesan would be nice, though I only had vintage cheddar on hand at the time) on top, and return to the oven for another 15-20mins, till the cheese just starts to brown. Use this time to sauté some side veggies in your same saucepan (silverbeet and cabbage would be nice) or steamed cauliflower to accompany your lovely vegetarian dish!


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