I had the great joy of spending the past two weeks visiting family across Canada. I took a lot of long walks, made a lot of food to fill freezers, and laughed until my sides hurt. I also spent half the time walking around with a light-bulb going off above my head saying “wait, this would be a great recipe!” I also spent my time acquiring a low German accent, or a hybrid of one evidenced by the way my father laughed at me when I spoke upon arriving back home two weeks later. One of my inspired thoughts while away was this simple dinner dish. Stuffed peppers are nothing new, but I have never attempted them. My hope was to create something filling, simple, but exploding in flavour. That took awhile. When it comes to spices I can agonize for hours over whether or not something is perfected yet. However, I bring you a finished product with an interesting twist. Enjoy!
Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 lb. browned ground beef
2 c. chopped green onion
11 fl oz. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. of each cumin, basil, paprika, chilli powder
2 tsp. onion powder
3 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tbs. honey
1 tbs. olive oil
3/4 c. uncooked quinoa
1 – 1 1/4 c. water
5 peppers of any colour
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Begin browning 1lb of ground beef in a large saucepan or pot. While the meat browns begin preparing your quinoa. Pour your quinoa into a medium saucepan with the water. Put the quinoa on medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Once boiling turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot, leave it on the still warm element with the lid tightly sealed for 20-25 minutes. The quinoa will absorb the water and become light and fluffy. Once cooked set the quinoa aside until later.
Once the meat is fully browned and keeping the heat on add the green onion and olive oil, allow the onion to sauté for five to seven minutes before adding the next ingredients.
Now you can add your tomato paste and apple cider vinegar. Mix them in well. Feel free to add a tablespoon of water or two to your mixture if it refuses to easily mix. Once the tomato paste is well mixed with the meat add your spices. The moisture of the tomato sauce will make it easier to evenly blend the spices through the meat mixture. Mix well.
Allow the mixture to cook for ten to fifteen minutes on medium heat stirring often to bring out the richness of the spices.
Finally it is time to add the quinoa, pour the quinoa into the pot with the meat mixture.
Mix until the quinoa is well coated.
Setting the meat mixture aside, prep your peppers by washing them, carefully cutting away the tops to leave them hollow and cleaning out the insides. Now you are ready to load your peppers. Even distribute the mixture between all five peppers until the peppers are full and the mixture is used up.
Then put them in the oven to bake at 350F for an hour or until a fork can easily prick the sides of the peppers.