Cajun Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers are so colourful and tasty – enough to impress guests, or just a beautiful meal for yourself.  It’s not too tough to make, and it’s all good for you, even vegetarian!  You just cook up some veggies and mix them with quinoa, beans and spices, stuff it into the peppers and bake.  The pecans on the top of the finished product give it that something extra special.

I love that it’s a meal all on its own, but you can add any side dish you like.

What you need:

3/4 cup quinoa

4-5 peppers, multi-coloured if possible

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

3/4 -1 cup chopped mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 cup white wine (optional)

3 teaspoons cajun spice mix

1 can corn, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup cajun pecans

What you do:

1.  Rinse the quinoa, then bring to a boil in 1 & 1/4 cups water.  Cook for 15 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes.

2. Cook the onion in butter or olive oil until slightly browned, then add mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are done.  Add wine, if you want, and cook until it is evaporated.

3.  Add cajun spice mix and stir, then add the corn, beans and cilantro, and stir until it’s all mixed evenly.

4. Cut the tops off the peppers and empty them of their seeds and membrane.

5.  Fill the peppers with the quinoa mix, then pop them in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes.

6. Top with the chopped pecans and serve them up!

Cajun Spice Mix

No need to buy a package of pre-mixed cajun spices.  If you’ve got a spice rack/drawer/bin going, you probably have all of these ingredients already.  There are so many cajun spice mixes out there, so I looked at a whole bunch of them and used the ingredients they all have in common, then added the ones that I thought would make it taste the best.  I happened to be staying with friends who had gumbo filé in their collection, but it’s not necessary to add if you don’t happen to have it in your rack/drawer/bin.

I’ve used this mix on my Cajun Pecans and in Cajun Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

What you need:

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 & 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

1/2 teaspoon gumbo filé  (if you have it)

What you do:

1.  Mix it all together!  Store it with your spices.