Southwest Style Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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We have been eating so much cheese, pasta and take out recently that we needed to kick off this week with a healthy veggie dinner. I’m sure I don’t need to preach the benefits of quinoa too much these days because it has bee exhausted at this point, but I will highlight a few of my favorite qualities of this grain: gluten free, high in protein, high in fiber and super high in antioxidants. Just heed my advice and get this stuff into your diet immediately! This recipe is a slam dunk in that it is delicious without the fats, salt and carbs. Please note that I am not calling this recipe vegetarian or vegan because I did cook the quinoa with beef broth. YOU CAN make this vegetarian by cooking the quinoa with water.

Makes: 8 peppers     Calories: 176/stuffed half pepper    Time: prep- 30 mins, cook- 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers (the more round the better), cut in half with ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package. I cooked mine with beef broth but you can use vegetable broth or just water.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • OPTIONAL: if you like a little heat 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of sweet whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2/3 cup of your favorite salsa, we used “hot traditional”
  • OPTIONAL: cheese for topping

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package. This takes about 30 minutes so be sure to allot the time for this step.
  2. In a large bowl mix together cooked quinoa, garlic, green onion, spices, beans, corn and salsa.
  3. Prepare the peppers by halving them and cleaning out the ribs/seeds
  4. Scoop the quinoa mixture into each pepper halve and place in greased 9×13 baking dish.
  5. If you want to top the pepper with cheese do so now and cover the baking dish with foil.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes and remove the foil to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.thegardengrazer.com

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Quinoa Cakes

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I try to find recipes that are yummy, satisfying, and have added bonuses like protein and fiber. Quinoa is a super-seed that has all of the above including iron, magnesium and many other important things to include in your diet. In short eat quinoa and be happy 🙂 This recipe is great as a side and I have also heated up a patty for lunch with a small salad so it is very versatile.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of COOKED quinoa, cooled (I have made the mistake of cooking 2 cups of raw quinoa.. Remember that 1 cup of uncooked quinoa equals 2 cups cooked. Unless you want to make a double batch of course 🙂 )

– 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

– 2 tbsp all purpose flour

– 2 green onions, sliced (I love green onions so I usually use more)

– 2 cloves of garlic, minced

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)

– 1/2 tsp black pepper

– Pinch of cayenne pepper

-3 tbsp olive or canola oil.

Directions:

1.) Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT the oil.

2.) Heat the oil in a large skillet.

3.) Using 1/4 cup-1/3 cup measuring cup to form patties. (I like to pack them into balls and when they are in the skillet I use the underside of the measuring cup to flatten it just a little bit. Do not flatten too much or else it will be really hard to flip.)

4.) Put up to 4 patties in the pan and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes.

5.) When browned to your liking transfer to a plate and lightly top with salt.

6.) Indulge 🙂