Fiesta Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This is one of those types of kitchen creations that comes about out of necessity. You know, like you look into your fridge and see big, red, very ripe bell peppers sitting there — they maybe are starting to wrinkle up a bit. And then you feel guilt, because you bought all those peppers with so many meals planned. Instead, the past weeks' dinners have consisted of a lot of frozen pizza and really simple pasta and salads topped with other dying produce. So, instead, you grab a cheese stick and shut the refrigerator door and forget about the sad peppers until you have to open it again.

By the middle of the week, I finally accepted the reality that I needed to use all of these peppers up before they went bad (and no one wants that to happen). I'd been thinking of using them for stuffed peppers ever since I saw that they were going to rot soon, but I kept telling myself that is was going to be a lot of work. Well, these quinoa stuffed peppers are super easy to make and even more delicious. They are a combination of almost all of my favorite things: quinoa, black beans, a hint of spicy, avocado, cilantro. Yes please. Despite what the poor lighting in these pictures might tell you (hey sometimes making dinner at 2:00 to have good lighting to photograph your meal just doesn't work with your schedule, you know?), these peppers will have your mouth watering the entire time they are baking.

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FIESTA QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS | yield: 3 stuffed peppers

Ingredients                                            

3 bell peppers

2/3 cup of cooked quinoa (I cook mine in veggie broth for more flavor)

1/2 a can of black beans

1/2 a can of corn

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1 tomato, diced

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

fresh cilantro

avocado, sour cream, salsa, sriracha (optional)

Instructions                                           

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with foil.

2. Cut the tops of the peppers off and clean out any seeds.

3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, tomato, and onion.

4. Add to the mixture the chili powder, cumin, 1/2 of the grated cheese, some fresh cilantro, and a few squirts of sriracha (optional). Stir to thoroughly combine.

5. Place the peppers into the lined baking pan and fill each pepper full with the quinoa mixture. Stuff them as full as possible.

6. Top each pepper with some more cheddar cheese.

7. Place the peppers in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is pipping hot and the cheese in golden brown and crispy.

8. Top each pepper with some avocado slices, more fresh cilantro, sour cream, salsa, sriracha, etc.

Enjoy these stuffed peppers with a side salad and some chips and salsa. Yum!

 xx Emorie