Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Black Beans

This is a delicious and colorful recipe to add to your Easter dinner menu.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups vegetable broth
6 bell peppers, any color or a combination of colors
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
1 jar (about 25 ounces) marinara sauce, as needed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
6 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1⁄4 cup toasted wheat germ, plus more as needed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat the quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan.  Lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. The quinoa should be soft but not mushy. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

When ready to assemble the stuffed peppers, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice off the top 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inches of each pepper and remove the seeds.  Set the tops aside to be used to “cap” the peppers later.

Stir the oil into 1⁄2 cup of the marinara sauce. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a deep casserole large enough to hold all the peppers snugly so they remain upright during baking.

Set aside 1⁄4 cup of the remaining marinara sauce. Mix the quinoa with the beans, mush- rooms, onion, wheat germ, garlic, basil, and half of the remaining marinara sauce. Stir until well combined, adding more marinara sauce, a couple of tablespoonfuls at a time, until the mixture is moist but not soupy. Add more wheat germ if the mixture gets too soupy.

Spoon the mixture into each pepper, mounding it if need be. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the reserved marinara sauce over each pepper,

Carefully position the peppers in the casserole so they will remain upright while baking.  Place tops on the peppers.

Cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the peppers are slightly tender but not mushy. Serve immediately or let cool for 15 minutes before serving. The remaining sauce at the bottom of the pan can be served in a gravy boat for those who might like a little more sauce.

Original recipe found at:

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