We like to stuff and layer things. Whether it’s cookies or mushrooms or squash, we love to come up with fillings to put inside something else. It’s just fun to do! Stuffed peppers are probably one of the more popular dishes that everyone has done before, but this was a first in the Duo world. There’s no reason to go with the usual recipe, so it was time to try a little something different. One of our great blogging friends, Diana at Diana Takes a Bite, continues to proclaim her love for quinoa on a regular basis. The little grain packs quite a punch when it comes to the ways it can be used in food. Maybe her spirit was moving around the kitchen when this dish was created because quinoa is the main star. Instead of reaching for the box of Uncle Ben’s for your next batch of stuffed peppers, we (and maybe Diana too) encourage you to try a new filler.
Usually stuffed peppers do not have a pre-cooked filling, but that’s where these babies differ. The beef and quinoa filling is cooked before it goes into the peppers, which pretty much cuts the baking time in half. If you like your peppers a little crisper, you could decrease the cooking time even more. According to your preference of course. With fresh tomatoes and eggplants in the mix, the filling stays moist enough that you may not need to drizzle or douse them with a tomato-based sauce. It is a nice change to the classic.
Beef and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers – Serves 8
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 1/2 cups small mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon ground paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 medium mixed bell peppers, tops, seeds and ribs removed
1. Swirl a bit of grapeseed oil in a deep, large pan. Once hot enough, add the garlic and onions. Cook until onions begin to go translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant and tomatoes, followed by paprika, cumin, chili powder and jalapeno. Stir to mix well.
3. Add the ground beef and cook until just browned, approximately 6-8 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and salt.
4. Spoon the filling into each pepper and stand in a baking dish just large enough to fit all the peppers snugly. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.