Q: The New Yorker described you as someone who eats “slowly” in “small, tidy bites.” What should we infer from that?
A: That I want my meals to last forever.                                                                            

                                -Interview with Nora Ephron by Maureen Down, New York Times, Aug. 2009

 

 

Stuffed pepper in tomato sauce blanketed with Grano Padano and Cheddar Cheese

I am starting a new gig designing, building and implementing software and surrounding infrastructure next week. I am expecting that keeping up this blog as frequently as I have been, will be a challenge. On top of that my partner, whose camera equipment I use, is going to Europe for part of August and taking the camera I use with him. I guess I will attempt to be better organized about blogging and make and shoot some stuff before he goes. He’ll only be gone for two weeks. Let’s see how it goes…

In any event a few days ago, I went trolling the web looking for recipes for stuffed peppers. Mostly I see recipes for South Western stuffed peppers which I like very much.  But I wanted something different and the recipe below, after a few incarnations with feedback from my Taster – as always, is what I came up with. This was a hit with meat eaters and vegetarians alike. We’ll make and serve this again and again. Check out the featured gallery below. I was trying to figure out how to incorporate more of the photos I wanted to show you, without making the post totally overwhelming or go on forever. I thought about reducing the size of some of them, but in the end decided to use the gallery format instead. Enjoy. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think of it!

Browse the Featured Photo Gallery: Tangy Mushroom & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

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  • Stuffed Pepper on a bed of sauce
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  • cheese grater et al.
  • A pair of Stuffed Peppers with cilantro on a blue platter

 

Tangy Mushroom & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
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Recipe type: Side Dish, Lunch
Author: www.savagecabbage.org
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 33 mins
Total time: 48 mins
Serves: 12-14
I like to make a large batch of these stuffed bell peppers: We eat some for dinner and save the rest for later in the week or freeze some for a day when no one feels like cooking. Also, it really takes a similar amount of effort and time to prepare this dish using seven or ten bell peppers as it does to use one. This dish is great if you are having a gathering for lunch or dinner too. Stuffed peppers can work as a substantial veggie side or as a main with a leafy salad and a green vegetable like broccoli or green beans as accompaniments. The serving size assumes you are using this dish as a side. I prefer the taste of red quinoa for this dish. It has a nuttier taste than white quinoa. There are a few adaptations I would suggest if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand. If you don’t have Grano Padano, I would simply use a good low-fat medium cheddar. I prefer the crimini mushrooms but you can substitute white button mushrooms which are often easier to find. I like to use red, orange or yellow peppers and not green peppers. Green peppers have a bitter taste. I prefer to avoid using them for stuffed peppers. Try not to forgo the walnuts. They really enhance the flavour of the stuffing. Timing: I found the majority of the washing, slicing chopping, shredding, dicing and pressing took me just under 15 minutes. While the water is boiling for the quinoa and the quinoa is cooking, I was able to make the tomato sauce and the stuffing concurrently. I simply added the quinoa to the stuffing once cooked.

Ingredients
  • 7 Bell Peppers halved and cleaned
  • 1 cup of grated Grano Padano cheese
  • 1 cup low fat medium to old chedder melted
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa red or white.
  • 1/2 cup canned black turtle beans
  • 3 cups diced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves shredded
  • Juice from two lemons
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely diced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 or 5 fresh basil leaves finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro coarsely chopped (optional garnish)
Method
  1. Prepare the mise en place: Dice an onion and the mushrooms; Dice or press 4 cloves of garlic; cut in half and clean the bell peppers; wash and shred the spinach; coarsely chop the walnuts and finely shred the basil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425.
  3. Boil 2 cups water in a covered pot.
  4. While the water is boiling, place a skillet and a sauce pan on medium heat. Add 3 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, half the diced onion and half the garlic to each, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, slightly yellowed with brown flecks on some of the tips. Reduce the temperature to medium-low heat.
  5. Once the pot of water has boiled, add the quinoa and simmer with the lid off for between 13-15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the quinoa is cooking add the crushed tomatoes, basil, dried oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and freshly ground black pepper to the yellowed onions in the sauce pan. Reduce temperature to medium low. Stir frequently.
  7. Next, to the skillet, add the crimini mushrooms, cumin, chilli powder, 1/4 tsp salt, lemon juice, black turtle beans. Saute until mushrooms become tender. Add the spinach and stir. Once the spinach is cooked reduce to low heat. Add the walnuts and bread crumbs to the skillet mixing well. Stir in the cooked quinoa.
  8. In an oven safe dish, stuff the bell peppers with the dry quinoa mixture until just slightly below even. Pour the sauce directly over the stuffed bell peppers.
  9. Bake on bottom rack for 15 minutes at 425.
  10. Meanwhile, shred Grano Padano and the cheddar. (Grating the cheddar helps it melt faster)
  11. After 12 minutes, remove the peppers from the oven.
  12. Sprinkle Grano Padano over each stuffed pepper.
  13. Broil on middle rack until cheese melts and is slightly browned (roughly 2 – 3 minutes). Meanwhile, melt the cheddar in the microwave until it looses its’ shape and becomes completely gooey (roughly 20-25 seconds). Spread the cheddar over each pepper.
  14. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (optional) Serve.
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Stuffed Pepper on a bed of sauce