Happy day after Halloween, and the beginning of the Christmas season!
Jeff and I were Rose and Dorothy from the Golden Girls–I finally convinced him. He looked wonderful:
We had to trim his wig a little and dye it gray. I haven’t gotten all the pictures from the night yet. Last night we made the first fire of the season (inside); it smelled wonderful. I ate way too much candy and tried to convince Jeff to watch Halloween, but we ended up watching Hocus Pocus. Still good. After I got home from yoga there were only two trick-or-treaters. One was an older kid in a weird mask who just mumbled something incoherent when I asked what he was; the other was a cute little vampire girl. She got more candy.
We had a healthy dinner to balance things out. I bought some poblanos at the farmers market last week. I couldn’t resist at 3 for $1–he had some nice red pell peppers too that were a dollar each.
This is barely a recipe because you can really throw anything at a hollowed-out pepper, toss it in the oven, and it will come out tasty. Here’s our latest version.
3-4 poblano peppers, halved lengthwise and de-seeded and de-ribbed
~2.5 cups cooked quinoa (to cook: rinse quinoa, soak for a few hours (optional), add about 1.5 cups dry quinoa to 3 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil then let simmer about 20 minutes until the curly-cues come out and it’s nice and fluffy)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of a red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of chili powder
dash red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
Crumbled goat cheese, or a couple handfuls of shredded cheddar
Few sprigs of cilantro, to garnish
Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and arrange halved peppers, skin side down. Roast in oven while you are preparing the filling.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, then add diced red onion and minced garlic. Cook 5 minutes then add spices, salt, and pepper; adjust to your liking and spice level. The amounts here make a nicely spicy mix with some kick and heat, but it’s not too hot. Stir and cook over medium heat for about a minute, then add the canned tomatoes. Stir and turn heat up to medium-high to cook off some of the liquid.
Add cooked quinoa to the skillet and mix to combine. Add enough so that all the liquid is soaked up, but not so much that the mixture is overly dry. Save leftovers to add to your salad the next day!
Remove peppers from the oven. I flipped mine over and blasted the skins for a minute with a mini kitchen torch, but it was really just for fun. Fill the pepper halves with quinoa mixture and top with cheese, if you like. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. You can also broil them at 500 for the last 5 minutes if you like, to make your cheese bubbly. Top with cilantro to serve.
This is a really basic recipe that you can add to easily. It’s excellent as is: the quinoa mixture is yummy on it’s own, but you could add black beans to it, tempeh, tofu, corn, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc. I opted for goat cheese instead of cow’s milk cheese to lessen my casein intake, and didn’t add black beans to avoid mixing proteins and starches (the simpler the combo, the easier it is to digest). You could also make a tomato sauce, however you like, and pour that over the stuffed peppers in the baking dish, making it enchilada-style. Go crazy. I think it would be good with a hummus-and-nutritional yeast cheezy topping, too. Hmm, next time…
Yum. Next up for dinner: cauliflower-topped vegan shepherd’s pie!