After this weekend, and a few hairy nights of trying to get out the door to rehearsals and concerts, I’m trying to make a plan so that I make it through the holiday season in one piece. And it would be great if I had some meals planned, and maybe even frozen, and that I don’t resort to eating Christmas cookies for dinner. Since Darryl and I are both musicians, December can get very, very crazy. There are a few meals that we rely on that are quick and easy, and don’t involve Christmas cookies. (Believe me, cookies for dinner does not work out too well when rehearsal lasts until 10 pm. Talk about a major sugar crash at the end of the Messiah!)
These quinoa stuffed peppers are so super simple to make, and they are really filling. You can customize this recipe to suit your needs…use the milk of your choice, use rice instead of quinoa if you prefer, add a few more vegetables, use whatever cheese you like. I love the Daiya jalapeno Havarti block of non-dairy cheese. It has a ton of flavor and gets really creamy when melted, and I would say it is very cheese-like.
I like to bake the peppers for a little while without the filling, and then again once they are stuffed full of quinoa. I find that the pre-bake helps them soften up a bit more. I don’t like mushy stuffed peppers, but I don’t want them to taste raw either.
- 4 rainbow peppers, seeded and cored
- olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 small zucchini, chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (the kind from the refrigerator case, NOT canned)
- half of a block of Daiya Havarti Jalapeno cheese, diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Prepare the peppers: Carefully slice off the tops and remove the seeds and trim the core off the tops if you want to serve them with the tops on. If the bottoms of the peppers are too bumpy, you may need to trim them down so they sit flat in the baking dish.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in each pepper and bake for about 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.
- Place the quinoa, the diced onion, and 2 cups water in a large pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook on low for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is soft and fluffy.
- Add the zucchini, spices, and coconut milk and cook on low heat for a few minutes until the zucchini is tender but still bright green. Add the Daiya cheese and stir until melted.
- Remove peppers from oven and spoon filling into each pepper. Place tops on each pepper if desired.
- Bake stuffed peppers at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
That’s all there is to it! And here’s a little secret…if you don’t want to make stuffed peppers, the filling is really good on its own, too! Sometimes a bowl of creamy, cheesy quinoa is just the thing at the end of a long day.
What are your favorite easy meals for busy nights?