Today we’re making it meatless with a classic favorite, stuffed red peppers–except holding the meat, rice, and cheese. This recipe is perfect for beginning vegetarians, those who want to “dip their toes” into veganism or simply for those of you trying to sneak another veggie into your families diet!
First, let me introduce myself to you lovely readers! My name is McKel, the owner and food blogger at Nutrition Stripped. I’m a Registered Dietitian/Wellness Coach, a self-proclaimed green smoothie connoisseur, fitness fiend, lover of all things veggie/avocado/tea and chocolate related, and I’m quite the nutrition nerd.
I’m very excited to be one of the contributors for the oh so kind and talented Kiersten at Oh My Veggies. Kiersten has been an amazing friend and mentor to me in the blogging world and it’s great that she’s introducing Potluck to this fantastic community of fellow veggie lovers (or interested parties haha). Feel free to mosey on over to Nutrition Stripped to read a little more about me and about my food philosophy. But let’s move on to the food, the real reason you’re here right? Right! Okay, now back to the food.
Growing up we had stuffed red peppers at least once a month, and they were delicious! I came across this recipe inspiration here from good ol’ Emeril Lagasse from Food Network and thought, I can put a vegetarian/vegan (and gluten free!) twist on this recipe.
The star of the show here is quinoa (KEEN-WAH). I use quinoa in many recipes of mine and if you haven’t had it before, these meatless stuffed peppers are the perfect introduction to it. Classic stuffed red peppers have ground beef sautéed with peppers, onion, spices, and occasionally topped with cheese. I’m putting a spin on this classic recipe and making it vegetarian friendly with a kick of Moroccan spices, but also giving meat eaters the flexibility to add in what they choose, making these great for everyone in the family.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1½ cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (this will reduce greatly)
- ½ cup sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup frozen organic corn (optional if allergic)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne (add more for more heat)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- ¼ cup goji berries or golden raisins
- 4 large red bell peppers
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Soak quinoa in filtered water for at least 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly until water is clear.
- Bring vegetable stock to a boil and add quinoa; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic, and corn in a large saucepan with coconut oil and spices until softened.
- Add vegetable mixture to a Vitamix or food processor and lightly pulse until the chunks of vegetables are uniform and small.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa and raw spinach to the filling mixture and stir until combined. The spinach will wilt easily from the heat. Stir in goji berries.
- After rinsing, cut the top off the red pepper very close to the top (1/2 inch)--just enough so you don’t waste much of the red pepper on the discarded top. Remove the seeds and inside ribs (the white linings of the pepper). You may also need to cut the bottom slightly to ensure the pepper can stand on its own and balance--be sure not to cut a hole in the bottom.
- Now that you have the red peppers and quinoa filling prepped, simply spoon in the quinoa filling mixture into each red pepper--you can get about 1 cup or more in each pepper depending on how large the red peppers are.
- Stand the bell peppers upright in a square baking dish and cover with foil.
- Bake at 350ºF for 35 minutes with foil covering the dish; remove foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until top is crispy.
If you’d like more detailed information on the nutrition behind quinoa, check my blog post here.Save Recipe