Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Vegetable Quinoa

Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Vegetable Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a staple in our home pantry. We make a large batch of quinoa at least once a week (leftovers are the best and it makes for a quick pick me up). Quinoa makes any meal feel more "complete" ~ and pairs well with soups, salads, fish, meats, eggs and veggies. Often called a grain, it is actually a seed that is closely related to the spinach, beet & tumbleweed families. Besides being very flavorful, quinoa is super healthy, simple to make and easy to digest. This gluten free, Incan "supergrain" is a complete, high quality protein (helping to build lean muscles) and also contains magnesium, fiber, manganese and copper. It acts as a prebiotic that will help feed the good bacteria in your body. It regulates blood sugar, eases in elimination, and keeps hearts healthy. Quinoa can be consumed at any time of the day (quinoa oatmeal recipe to come later...yum!), but eating it in the evening can even encourage a good night sleep! When cooked properly quinoa has a light, fluffy and subtly crunchy texture. I have a feeling that this recipe will leave you and your guests happy and satisfied. Paired with a great wine, it will leave you happier and even more satisfied:).

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
grapeseed oil 
3 carrots (peeled)
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch asparagus
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
...and any other veggies you like!
Directions:
Soak quinoa (this removes the powdery residue/phytic acid to allow for easier digestion) for 8 hours OR do what I do and purchase pre-soaked qunioa and just give it a good rinse. Preheat oven to 375. Rinse red peppers, cut in half and empty contents. Lightly coat baking sheet and red pepper halves with grapeseed oil - place peppers on baking sheet hollow side down...set aside. Saute finely chopped garlic, onion & veggies in 1-2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes in a sauce pot. Add pepper, a dash of salt and fresh herbs (I like a bit of basil, parsley and oregano - Herbs De Provence by Spice Hunter is a great find). Add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of veggie broth to the same pot as sautéed veggies and give it a stir. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes (you will see the germ spiral out from the grain). Remove from heat. Let cool. Fluff with a fork. Grab your baking sheet/pepper halves and spoon vegetable quinoa creation into peppers. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over quinoa stuffed peppers and serve!

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