My first thought was to call this, “Not Your Mama’s Stuffed Green Peppers” but I thought that might insult my mama…right before Mother’s Day. I can’t do that. My mother happens to be a wonderful Southern cook who can make the best fried chicken and biscuits. Our tastes are very different and when she’s visiting I often hear her say that she doesn’t like to cook “fancy” food like I do. I don’t cook fancy – it’s just healthier and more modern than the traditional Southern way. Not to mention she gets serious sticker shock at Whole Foods. Times have changed for sure.
These Quinoa Stuffed Peppers With Broccoli are a healthier and more colorful version of the traditional stuffed green peppers that we all grew up on. The filling is a light and fluffy mixture of quinoa, peppers, onions, broccoli and cheese. As it cooks the peppers release their juices and it keeps everything flavorful without being soggy. The quinoa tastes a bit like macaroni and cheese with all that creamy, cheesy goodness. Play this aspect up and maybe your little ones will even give it a try.
The variations are endless: add ground beef , diced chicken, shrimp or steak. Add any variety of chopped veggies or sautéed greens. Use brown, white or forbidden rice instead. What about bulgar or millet? This can even be a kitchen sink dinner where you chop and saute all the leftovers you can get your hands on. Top with cheese and tada! Dinner done.
- 3 yellow orange or red peppers, cut in half, membranes and seeds removed
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli chopped small, no stems
- 1/2 cup peppers diced
- 1/2 cup milk or chicken broth
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese grated
- 3/4 cup monterey jack cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- sprinkle or red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. I use a rice cooker.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Saute chopped onions in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 6 minutes.
Add chopped garlic, peppers and broccoli. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 6-8 minutes watching carefully.
In a bowl add the quinoa, milk, cheeses, spices and sautéed veggies. Stir gently.
Fill the pepper halves with the mixture. Pack it in tight.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cheese. Cook for another minute or two or until cheese melts.
This recipe was inspired by a traditional green pepper recipe from my mom.