Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers: Turkey and Chorizo with lots of Veggies

Stuffed peppers look so pretty, and this recipe is pretty healthy too, stuffed with lots of veggies and quinoa.  I like to make dishes that have it all – lots of healthy veg, some protein and a complex carbohydrate.  So I put together some of my favourite ingredients, and this is what I came up with.

You can prepare the filling ahead of time, even stuff the peppers and pop them in the fridge.  Throw them in the oven just before serving, make a little green salad on the side and you’re ready to go!

What you need:

sweet peppers (a dozen mini or half a dozen regular sized)

200 grams ground turkey

1 chorizo sausage, removed from casing

1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked

1 sweet onion, diced

4 mushrooms, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 sweet red pepper (for filling), diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 tablespoons dried currants

salt and lots of pepper

olive oil

What you do:

1. Before cooking the quinoa rinse it, then put it in a pot with about a cup of water.  Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and put a lid on it, cooking for 15 minutes.  If the water doesn’t all get absorbed in this time, put it back on the heat for a few minutes, stirring until the liquid is gone.

2. Cook the chorizo, removed from its casing, along with the turkey meat.  Drain the fat off and set the meat aside.

3.  In a little olive oil cook the onions on medium-low heat until they start to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.  The onions will  begin to get quite brown, which is exactly what you want, because a lot of the flavour in the dish is coming from the nicely browned onions.

4.  Add the garlic and the rest of the veggies, stirring and cooking until they begin to soften.

5.  Mix the meats, quinoa, currants and veggies together, adding salt and quite a bit of pepper to taste.

6. Cut the tops off the peppers, the  fill each pepper and put the tops back on.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

7.  Arrange them in a baking dish as you fill them, then pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes!

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!