I am a strong believer in flavorful cooking. Yes I said it, I will not eat grass, I will not eat something that doesn’t make my tastebuds go wild! Ok, wait, I take that back… a little… I do eat things that are good for me nutritionally and that perhaps don’t taste the total best. Sometimes I am lucky enough to have a wheatgrass shot or some fresh algae, and that to most doesn’t seem tasty, but to me I’m so use to these wonderfully nutritious items I’ll take em down knowing the benefits. It takes time to get there, don’t worry, and meanwhile I still eat really yummy spiced up foods!! I recommend starting to work on your spice cabinet pronto! Try to Grab organic when you can. I know it’s a little more expensive but it’s worth it. Your health is worth it. Buying all the spices upfront can get pricey, but with each recipe, you might find one new spice you need to purchase and it won’t seem so crazy expensive buying one or two at a time.
So back to the recipe. I actually never had a stuffed bell pepper when I was a child. Is that crazy? Did you eat them a lot when you were growing up? Once I got older and I realized how much fun it was to put a bunch of ingredients together and stuff them in a vegetable, I did! The possibilities are endless! You can flavor and add ingredients basically however you’d like, this is just one of my versions.
I always love to do Cajun or taco seasoning with my bell peppers, but I am also a huge Italian flavors fan!! So you could absolutely use Italian season and fresh basil and even a little tomato sauce to give those flavors. Though I might use garbanzo or white beans instead of black beans with an Italian version, which this recipe calls for. I also like to add a whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa to add nutrients and quinoa packs some protein. I also have a version of this recipe where I just used more beans and vegetable without the quinoa. Hit me up if you want that recipe.
I have made stuffed bell peppers a ton of times. They look fun and taste great. They are pretty dang hearty too. You can serve them with a side of salad or if there is something else you prefer, do that! Do what makes you feel good and what tastes good to you. Share these yummy suckers with your friends and family as well!! They’ll thank you for it.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 Bell peppers (top cut off, de-seeded and baked for 10 minutes at 400)
1 1/2 C Quinoa cooked (or rice )
1 small Onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 Medium zucchini (chopped)
1/2 Package Taco Seasoning
1/2 can of Black Beans (BPA free can or box or soak and boiling your own is even better!)
Optional: instead of beans, you can grab a meat substitute like “ground meat” or another favorite. (I just try to stay away from processed as much as possible which is why beans are such a great low fat protein option).
-Cook the Quinoa according to package, make sure you rinse it properly before cooking. Set aside to cool until it is ready to mix with the other ingredients.
-If you want your bell peppers to stand, Cut the tops off and take the inner seeds out of the bell peppers. If you would like to lay them on their side, keep the tops on and cut the peppers in half lengthwise and take the seeds out, spray oil on the the bell peppers and bake them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then take them out and let them cool to the touch before stuffing.
-Sauté the chopped onions and garlic (about 5 minutes), then add zucchini (cook 3-5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and sauté (for 3 more minutes).
-Once the veggies are sautéed and the quinoa is ready, place them and the black beans in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix together. Add the cheese and pulse one more time. ——-If you’re adding cream cheese, you can spoon that in with these ingredients to the food processor as well. ——————-If you don’t have a food processor, cut the vegetables into very small pieces and just mix the cheese into the other ingredients in a bowl.
-Spoon the mixture into the bell peppers and place on the baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. If desired, at 15 minutes, place some vegan cheese on top.
-Then, please enjoy.
love, Stephie xoxo