On Monday, I went to visit my friend Amanda who currently lives and works downtown Toronto. I stayed with her for a few days (to avoid the dreadful commute to my school) ! One of the things I loved about our visit, was that we got to cook together.
For some reason, it’s just SO much more fun to cook with a friend. And we got creative too! She has been a vegetarian for a few years now, so naturally she had a few new vegetarian recipes lying around. This one in particular that we decided to try came from the Looney Spoons Cookbook. We modified it a bit, adding and taking away ingredients based on what was in her fridge, and ended up with….
Pair these amazing stuffed peppers with a tomato, chickpea & mozza salad and a glass of red wine (it was going bad so we haaaad to drink it) – MMM what a meal!
Recipe for your enjoyment… (not the one we made, but something similar)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (½ cup)
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup quinoa
- 3 large carrots, grated (1 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.