Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

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I’ve noticed an Italian influence in many of the stuffed pepper recipes that I’ve come across, including the delicious one that I grew up enjoying in my own family.  But I wanted to put an updated, healthy southwestern spin on this classic family meal.  Turns out, it’s a perfect partnership.  These peppers are little treasure chests overloaded with protein, iron, whole grains, immunity-boosting Vitamin C, and even more vegetables to boot.  Gustare Pepperoncino Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds just the right touch of heat combined with a trove of Latin spices.  Between the burst of flavors, the health benefits, and the brilliant color palette, this recipe is truly a cause for celebration!

 

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Cook Time:  45 minutes

Serves:  4-6

Dietary Specifications:  Vegan, Gluten Free

 

Ingredients:

1C dry quinoa, rinsed (I used tri-color)

2C vegetable broth

4 large bell peppers, assorted colors, rinsed

1½ Tbsp Gustare Pepperoncino Garlic Olive Oil

1½c onion, chopped

8oz mushrooms, chopped

4 large cloves garlic, pressed

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1½-2 tsp hot Mexican chili powder

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp oregano

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp 1830 Sea Salt

½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, for a little hint of cheesiness)

1, 15oz can black beans

1C corn kernels, fresh or frozen

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush sheet tray with Gustare Pepperoncino Garlic Olive Oil and set aside.
  2. To prepare peppers, slice tiny portion off bottom of each pepper to create a solid, upright base. Dice these pieces and set aside for use in the filling.  With peppers upright, remove tops by cutting around the stems, leaving ½ inch of flesh and the stems intact for presentation.  Remove inner membranes and seeds.
  3. Brush insides of peppers with Gustare Pepperoncino Garlic Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, until tender-crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Prepare filling while peppers are roasting. Bring vegetable broth to boil in small saucepan.   Add quinoa and stir.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer approximately 15 minutes, until all broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender and fluffy.  Set aside.
  6. Heat skillet with Gustare Pepperoncino Garlic Olive Oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and reserved diced pepper to skillet and sauté until translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add mushrooms. Sauté approximately 4 minutes, or until softened.
  8. Add tomato paste and spices. Sauté 1 minute longer.  Remove from heat.
  9. Combine black beans, corn, and quinoa in separate bowl. Add skillet mixture to bowl and stir well to evenly distribute all ingredients. 
  10. Stuff peppers with filling. Be sure to pack the peppers so they are completely tightly filled, leaving a small mound around the top. 
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until peppers become more tender and quinoa is slightly browned and crispy.
  12. Top with avocado, cheese, cilantro sour cream, or salsa. Enjoy!

 

Make ahead

*Quinoa can be cooked and refrigerated for several days before use.  You may also pre-cook your peppers the day before assembly if desired.   With these ingredients already prepped, the filing comes together within minutes, and you’ll have the peppers stuffed and roasting in no time! 

*Make a big batch and freeze!  You can defrost one at a time as you need them and reheat in the oven or microwave!

 

Serving Suggestions:

*Use this delicious black bean, corn, and quinoa mixture as an alternative burrito or taco filling, or a topping for loaded nachos!