Hi all! Jess here. I knew when I saw the green pepper in my share I’d be making stuffed peppers.The green pepper is a wonderful vessel for bringing other veggies to the table. It’s a true harbinger of deliciousness.
Traditionally the green pepper might be filled with some type of ground meat, however the vegetarian version can pack a super flavor punch! Tonight’s protein boost is sponsored in part by red Russian kale and quinoa.
This is another flexible recipe in terms of ingredients (did you ever notice that almost ALL of my recipes are pretty flexible? It’s great to have flexible recipes in your arsenal when you don’t know what’s coming your way from week to week).
Tonight I started by cooking some quinoa in the pressure cooker with a few sprigs of rosemary on top. I substituted the usual water with my homemade veggie broth. The pressure cooker is not only quick, but also infuses flavors into whatever you’re cooking, in this case making the quinoa flavorful with the veggie and rosemary flavors. If the pressure cooker is not your thing, cooking your quinoa according to package directions works out fine as well. See? Flexibility!
While the quinoa was doing it’s thing, I heated my sauté pan before adding a drizzle of olive oil (Amish Roll Butter works, too!) Some of the heirloom onions and a little minced garlic went into the pan for a few minutes until the onions were just transluscent.Next, I added one of the summer squash, diced small. Shortly thereafter, some of the kale chopped on the finer side went into the pan. Finally, some cherry tomatoes grown from my Springdell seedlings made their way into the pan. Once things were cooked to the desired level of tenderness, I shut off the heat, tossed in some feta and folded in the quinoa. This all got scooped into my peppers. How you decide to cut the peppers is entirely your call. I used to cut the tops off and stuff the peppers the long way, but once I realized there was more surface area for cheese when you lay the pepper on it’s side, I started halving the peppers. As you can see, these peppers are in the “reclined” position. I covered them with some mozzarella before putting them in the oven. The peppers were baked for about 30 minutes at 375, until the cheese gets brown and bubbly.
This recipe produces a fresh crisp pepper. If you prefer a more tender pepper, you can opt to boil or steam it for a few minutes before stuffing it. Be sure to dump the water in the compost if you have one (after it’s cooled, please) as there’s some good nutrients there!
Please feel free to play with the amounts and types of veggies, spices, quinoa, rice, etc (these are great with beans and corn as well). If you have extra filling left over, no worries! You can always use the leftovers in quesadillas the next night.
My husband ate and enjoyed the whole thing. The beautiful thing is it was filled with veggies that he’s not particularly fond of. He is also not a fan of feta, or quinoa. Somehow, when you mix all of these things together, the flavors meld beautifully into something that is not the sum of its parts. Whatever your variations of this recipe turn out to be, I hope you enjoy it!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in veggie broth-optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small summer squash, diced small
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, diced
- ½ bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 2 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- herbs to taste (I used 2 sprigs of rosemary and a sprinkle of paprika)
- Cook quinoa according to the package directions, substituting veggie broth for water, and adding herbs if a yummy punch of flavor is desired.
- Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium heat before adding oil to the pan. Once the oil is heated, add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add the squash and kale, cooking for about 2 minutes before adding the cherry tomatoes. Cook until the squash is tender, the kale is wilting, and the tomatoes are beginning to break down, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the feta and fold in the quinoa.
- Carefully spoon the mixture into your halved peppers before placing them in a baking pan. Sprinkle the tops of the stuffed peppers with the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes and until the cheese is melted.