Mexican Stuffed Peppers

One dish that I absolutely love, but never make enough is stuffed peppers. There are so many ways to prepare them with a variety of filling options, however the task often seems to great. While I’ve found a hack to speed up the process, it really isn’t rocket science and I often wonder why recipes I used in the past didn’t suggest this trick!

Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Before we get to my speedy stuffed pepper hack and the yummy Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Pepper recipe, here’s some inspiration to make your stuffed peppers your own!

Southwest Vegan Stuffed Peppers

First, since they are so versatile, let’s discuss your filling so that no matter your cooking skills, you can MYO (make your own) stuffed pepper dish and ensure they’re a full balanced meal {though, I’ve got some great vegan jalapeno poppers as an app, too}. Really, these are the components I suggest you check off in any meal, unless it’s going to be within 2 hours before a workout (then chop out some of the volume of foods with fiber and protein).

Stuffed Pepper Checklist:

  1. The peppers, obviously!
    1. Most people opt for bell peppers, but why not try a poblano?
  2. A Whole Grain
    1. Take your pick! I usually opt for quinoa, brown rice, or bulgur, but there are many others to choose from. For extra flavor, I’m a huge fan of cooking it in broth instead of water, as you can see in the recipe below.
  3. A Protein Source
    1. If this isn’t coming from an animal product, fish or soy, I recommend that you ensure your whole grain is more rich in protein. For example, if I am using beans or lentils as my protein, it’s best not to use rice as my grain since it’s so low in protein itself. I’d opt for quinoa or bulgur in many cases. We want to get enough of this nutrient for health and satiety! Also, if you’re using enough of a legume and other veggies inside, you can eliminate the grain. Many ingredients can actually contribute to protein content, including cheese, nutritional yeast and even vegetables.
  4. Some Fat
    1. This can come from oil that you’re cooking the protein or grain with, by mixing in chopped olives, or from the addition of cheese, avocado, or guacamole on top. Your protein source may also include some fat so that you don’t need to add it in another way. Fat is an important nutrient for energy and satiety.
  5. Flavor!
    1. You can get by with the flavors of everything else, I suppose, but throw in your favorite spice blend, dressing, or even buffalo sauce, like in the recipe from Emily Cooper below.
  6. Optional: An Extra Veggie
    1. I love to toss in some frozen spinach or kale to brighten up the dish.

Vegan Gluten Free Stuffed Peppers

Still a bit lost and need inspiration? Well, you can see how I built my stuffed peppers below and then mix and match your own favorite combos

  1. Red bell peppers
  2. Tricolor quinoa + a bit of corn
  3. Black beans
  4. Avocado oil + fat in the hummus
  5. Hummus and spices
  6. Spinach

Are you viewing my blog because you hate making your own recipes? Well, here are a bunch from fellow dietitians!

The following are best as side dishes. To make as an entree, mix in a protein or have a protein source with the peppers for a balanced meal.

Now for my hack.

It’s as simple as this: bake your peppers while you’re prepping all of the other ingredients! You’ll get the most time savings if your oven has a convection setting, but it’s a benefit no matter what. You may find that the peppers have some liquid in them when you remove them from the oven to fill. I always pour the pepper liquid into the mixture I’ll be adding to save up the teeny bit of nutrients and the flavor instead of pouring it down the drain.

Tell me in the comments: What is your favorite stuffed vegetable?

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Vegan, Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 Cup garlic hummus
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cumin, dried oregano, dried paprika
  • Optional: 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne powder

Directions

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees (convection setting if possible)
  • Slice off the top of each pepper and remove seeds and white flesh
  • Place each pepper, including the top, in an individual ramekin or together in a baking dish before placing in the oven
  • Add quinoa, broth and oil to a sauce pan or pot and bring to a boil before reducing to low-medium.
  • Once all liquid has absorbed into the quinoa, add all other ingredients, stir, and turn off the burner.
  • Remove peppers from the oven and fill each with your quinoa mixture. You may have some leftover mixture depending on the size of your peppers.
  • Place back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes before serving.

4 thoughts on “Mexican Stuffed Peppers

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