Thursday, January 24, 2013

Revisiting Quinoa

For those of you new to reading this blog, on occasion I like to make a foray into my local health food store, find something I have never tried before, and make it.  These adventures not only challenge my taste buds, but also my mind.

Earlier last year in one of these outings I found and purchased couscous.  I had fun experimenting with several new recipes that include couscous, and decided to try again with another new-to-me food.

The criteria that I used when I went back to search again included the following:

1.  It must be healthy.
2.  I don't know what it is.
3.  It must have an interesting name, like couscous.
4.  It is better if it has a name that I do not know how to pronounce.

Quinoa is the purchase that came home with me that day.  I learned from the box that quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, has more high quality protein than any other grain.  You can read more about my trip that day and about quinoa in general in this post.

Since it is very high in protein, I decided to make a meat-less dinner using quinoa last night.  I searched around on the internet, and put together a compilation of several recipes.  I decided we were having a basic Stuffed Green Peppers meal.

First I cut three peppers in half from top to bottom, and cleaned out all the seeds and membranes.  I steamed them in the microwave until they were tender but not soggy.

While that was happening I cooked up about 2 cups of the quinoa, as per package directions.

Here is what I mixed together for the pepper stuffing:

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup Newman's Own Sockarooni pasta sauce (you will need 1/2 cup more for the pan bottom)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (you will also need 6 small slices later for topping)
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. Italian seasoning

Still needs the cheese topping
Now put it all together:

Put  1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a pan.  (I used a round Pampered Chef baking pan.)
Lay the pepper halves in the pan.
Load the stuffing mix into the peppers.
Top each with a small slice of Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until everything is heated through, and until the cheese on top is melted.

At dinnertime, at the last minute, son Caleb announces that his new girlfriend Hannah will will joining us for the meal.  I quickly set out another place setting and said a fast prayer that the dinner would be tasty.  Then I announced to all that I hope they were game to try something new and be my guinea pigs.

Although I am no super cook, I must say that these stuffed peppers were good.  The peppers themselves were steamed to just the right crispness, and the stuffing mix was tasty.  We all agreed that this recipe is a "keeper."

Today I'm making another trip to my health store.  I'm on a hunt again for something new.

Let me know if you've used quinoa in any "keeper" recipes lately, and if you are adventurous enough to try this one, ENJOY!


  1. I love it! We are huge fans of stuffed peppers and eat them often, but these are so great for two reasons, first off being they are so much healthier than using hamburger. Second, I am constantly trying to find meat free meals for Fridays as I don't eat meat on that day, but fish is sort of repetitive, if you know what I mean. This is PERFECT.

    And you know what's funny? We usually don't buy canned sauce, but LOVE Paul Newman's [the man is easy on the eyes and all of his products are tasty] and last night I whipped up spaghetti and meatballs using that Sockarooni sauce. Dang! It was so yummy - full of chunky bits of everything. Wallene didn't like the mushrooms, but you have to really look to know that is what it is [it's the texture, not the taste with her].

    I am SO trying this tomorrow night. Thank you.

  2. Looks delicious, Mom! I bet I would love it even more if I used red peppers instead of the green peppers. That's a good way to use quinoa!

  3. What a coincidence, my friend just told me about Quinoa this past weekend. She puts in with tons of veggies. I will have to tell her about this recipe. Wonder if it will work with red peppers?

  4. I use Quinoa as a breakfast cereal. A little milk, and a half a banana or a few berries. mmmm good!