Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quinoa & Beef Stuffed Baby Peppers

I usually walk right by these baby peppers at the store because I think they are too much work.  For some reason, I grabbed a bag and boy-oh-boy, am I glad that I did.  This recipe is delicious!

I'm pretty sure that I out-did myself on this one.  These Baby Stuffed Peppers turned out AMAZING!
This recipe started out as a way to clean out the fridge and it transformed in to absolute greatness.  Sometimes my culinary abilities shock me.  It's so darn fun.

If you're looking for a vegetarian option, the filling is so delicious that it would still be good without the ground beef.

*I had filling leftover, so I froze it for an easy meal in the future.  The filling would also be good by itself, rolled up in a tortilla, as a based for soup, or even on top of a bed of greens.*

Quinoa & Beef Stuffed MIni Peppers
2# bag of mini bell peppers, seeded & halved
1# ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 T cumin
1.5 T chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1c. quinoa
2 c. water
1 tsp beef bouillon (I use "Better than Bouillon," it's easy, awesome and no MSG).

1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can corn, drained/rinsed
1 cup salsa
1/2 c. cilantro chopped
1/4 c. light cream cheese, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 c. shredded cheese

1. Bring a pot of water with steam tray in it to a boil. Slice peppers in half (length-wise) and remove seeds.  Steam the peppers for a 3-4 minutes to soften up. Remove and pour onto a towel to drain.

2. Combine quinoa, water and bouillon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  Remove from heat.

3. Brown the ground beef, draining off any excess drippings.  Add onion, garlic and seasoning, continue to brown until onion is softened and meat is cooked through.  Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

4.  In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, beef mixture, beans, corn, salsa, cilantro, cream cheese and shredded cheese.  Stir well until cream cheese melts.

5. Place peppers on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Spoon mixture onto peppers. I like them over-filled, so I'm very generous with the filling.

6. Bake @ 350* for about 30 minutes. Serve over a shmear (yes this is a word) of refried beans.