Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It has been quite a while since I've made a post. By this point, my commitment to better blogging has probably become a joke to those who have read it in previous posts. I fully expect you to scoff at my lack of ability to keep the promise! Truthfully, I've been living at my parent's house all summer and have taken a break from adult-life aka making meals or doing my own laundry. My mom makes absolutely incredible, delicious meals every night (while working a full-time job and being a full-time mom and full-time superwoman) so I haven't had the need to cook! I'll be the first to admit that I've been spoiled by her generous hospitality. I'm a lucky 24 year old, to say the least! But, I am moving back to Ottawa in two weeks and I'll be back to cooking (and all those other tasks) for myself.

Tonight was proof that I've lost my ability to function in the kitchen. Mom asked me to make dinner and I willingly agreed, but had I known I would have dropped almost everything either on the floor, on the counter or on the sink, I may have thought twice before agreeing!

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is really trendy in the foodie world right now but I am a huge fan. I've recently taken a bit of a strike against meat (advice: don't watch all the food documentaries on Netflix or you may never want to eat again) but I find quinoa and other grains to be the perfect substitute! It's filling and hearty and you can add almost anything to it to make it taste even better. Overall, I'd give quinoa a 10/10, would eat again (and again, and again).

Look at those pearly little things. So cute and SO GOOD.

Much like everything I post on this blog (are you seeing a common denominator here), these were easy to make - aside from my few, out of the kitchen for too long, mishaps. The recipe makes enough stuffing for six bell peppers (I'd recommend red but we bought green because they were on sale) but we used four and put the rest of the stuffing in ramekins to bake. 

If there is one thing in this world I love more than anything, it's black beans. In almost anything. I'd probably eat them in my cereal if that was socially acceptable. 

To make these bad boys, you'll need:

3 cups of cooked quinoa
1 cup of corn
1/2 cup of black beans (or if you're me, the whole can)
1 can of chopped green chilies
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup of crumbled feta
3 tbsp chopped cilantro 
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

A word to the wise - 3 cups of cooked quinoa. I measured out three cups of uncooked quinoa and we have enough stuffing to feed the entire neighbourhood. So, whatever three cups of cooked quinoa equates to prior to cooking is how much you'll need!

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Cook the quinoa and in the meantime, mix together the other ingredients. Hollow out six bell peppers (whatever colour you'd like!) and set aside. Mix the quinoa into the other ingredients and stuff the peppers! Top with shredded cheese and cook for 25-30 minutes. The longer you cook them, the softer your peppers will be! Then eat them and enjoy! 

Well, with that cooking escapade behind me, I think it's safe to say I'm ready to get back in the kitchen and cook again. Heading back to Ottawa is a complete 180 from my original plans but I think it will be for the best. Hopefully I will chronicle my adventures. Now that I'm finished my university degree and working like a full-time adult, cooking is a good way to fill the evening and fill some hungry mouths.

Until next time, my friends, happy making! 

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Maira Gall