Quinoa Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Makes 5 large or 6-7 small peppers. Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

5 large or 6-7 small red or yellow peppers. Choose ones that can stand up by themselves.

1 large onion

2 teaspoons olive oil (or similar)

3-5 cloves garlic (depending on size and to your taste)

1 cup quinoa

1 cup water and 1 cup vegetable stock

6 large white mushrooms (or equivalent in small ones)

10 large silverbeet leaves

2-3 tbsp sesame seeds

5-7 sundried tomatoes

10-20 kalamata olives (or olives of your choice)

seasoning: approx. ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons mixed herbs, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste), salt (to taste)

Method

  1. Place quinoa in small pan with lid, add water and veg stock and cover. Bring to boil and the turn down to lowest heat setting. Cook for 10-15 mins until water all absorbed. Turn off heat, keep covered and leave to rest.
  2. Meanwhile heat oven to 180c
  3. Heat oil in large pan. Chop onion finely and sauté until soft.
  4. Chop mushrooms and press garlic (or chop fine). Add to softened onion and stir. Cook 5 mins until soft. Add sesame seeds and stir well.
  5. Chop silverbeet finely and add to the pan. Stir well and cook until wilted.
  6. Chop sundried tomatoes and olives finely and add to the pan. (de-stone the olives if needed).
  7. Add the quinoa when it is cooked and stir well.
  8. Add seasoning and taste. Add more seasoning if needed.
  9. Cook a little longer on a low heat, or turn off and leave to rest.
  10. Chop around the stalk of the peppers (approx. 4cm diameter) and lift out the inside core. Using your fingers, scoop out any seeds. If the pepper won’t stand up already, chop a little off the bottom.
  11. Fill the peppers with the mixture.
  12. Place the filled peppers in a deep ovenproof dish and pout about 3 tablespoons water in the bottom. Cover with silver foil. (Shiny side down).
  13. Place in oven for 50-60 mins.
  14. Remove silver foil and cook for another 10-15 mins. (At this point you can sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top if you like).
  15. When cooked, remove from oven and use tongs to lift onto plates.

Serve with baked or roast kumara or potatoes, and a leafy green such as broccoli or cauliflower. Can also add roast beetroot.

Variations:

  1. The grain could be quinoa+amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat or barley.
  2. You can use capers or chillis (or both) as well as olives and sundried tomatoes, (or instead of)
  3. Use spinach or kale instead of silverbeet.
  4. Add some kelp to the quinoa when cooking.
  5. Can use pine nuts as well, or instead of the sesame seeds.
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