By Lori Rodgers –
I am always looking for ways to add more veggies to my family’s diet. In addition to quinoa, the “super grain”, there are five veggies in this delicious, nutritious treat.
How to choose the perfect pepper.
I like to include a variety of colors for a pleasing presentation. Did you know that red bell peppers are green bell peppers that have been left on the vine longer to ripen? That is why they are sweeter and more expensive. Look for peppers that are firm to the touch, heavier than they look, and their seeds do not rattle around inside when you (gently) shake them.
6 bell peppers, a variety of colors
1 cup quinoa, uncooked (organic preferred)
1 pound portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups sweet corn, frozen
1 9-ounce package chopped spinach, frozen
3 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
¼ cup Vegan parmesan cheese
2 T Olive oil
1 t rosemary garlic seasoning
First, prep the peppers. Cut off tops by slicing horizontally, leaving the tops intact. Carefully remove seeds and whitish membrane inside the peppers by gently scraping them out with a soup spoon. Rinse well to remove seeds.
Parboil the peppers, both the tops and bottoms, by immersing them in boiling water for five minutes. Remove, drain and cool.
Prepare the quinoa. It is important to rinse the quinoa well before cooking. I use a fine mesh strainer for rinsing without losing any of the tiny grains in the process. Add I cup of rinsed quinoa to 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and remove lid, allowing grains to cool a bit.
Next, sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, season with the rosemary garlic grinder and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown. While the onion mixture is cooking, defrost the package of spinach and squeeze to remove excess water. Add the thawed spinach and frozen corn to the pan and heat through, 3-5 minutes. Stir in two cans of tomato sauce and mix well.
Now it’s time for my favorite part, stuffing the peppers! Find a casserole dish that the peppers will fit into somewhat snugly, allowing them to remain upright. Spoon in the filling, packing the peppers gently. Top each with a spoonful of tomato sauce and a generous sprinkle of vegan parmesan.
Then put on the “hats” and pop them in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then dig in!