A few years ago I wouldn’t have touched a bell pepper if you’d paid me. I hated the green things. If a recipe couldn’t do without one, I chopped them super fine so I didn’t notice them as much. They just tasted too…. green…. to me. Then I discovered the colored ones: red, orange and yellow peppers rock! They’re sweeter and I don’t feel like I’m grazing.
I had several colored peppers and decided to use them to hold some flavorful chili. And to be even more interesting I’d add quinoa to the chili. Everyone says we should eat more quinoa. I would obey with this dish.
While the chili bubbled away I cleaned the peppers, cutting them in half. I had a pot of water boiling and put the peppers in the water until they were almost fork tender. Peppers take longer than you’d think to soften and they weren’t going to be baked long enough in the oven for that to happen. Hence the blanching.
Stuffed peppers had never been so good! The quinoa added an unusual touch- not super flavorful but made the texture interesting. The sweet peppers were so much better than green ones! We loved the meal and the leftovers were even better reheated a couple of days later.
Quinoa Chili Stuffed Peppers
1 1/2# ground beef
1/2 cup onion; diced (I used a red onion)
15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup quinoa
4-6 sweet bell peppers; halved and stems and membranes removed
2 cups fresh spinach; roughly chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar
Brown beef and onions in a large skillet until the meat is deeply browned. Add tomatoes, broth and seasonings.
Stir in quinoa and let skillet come to a bubbly boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes, until quinoa is done.
In the meantime clean peppers and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes, until they are fork tender. Remove from water and cool.
Stir spinach into meat mixture and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese and fill peppers, placing in a sprayed baking dish.
Pour rest of filling down into the dish and sprinkle top of dish with remaining cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 40 minutes.