I’ve made versions of this many times in the past and turned to it again recently as we pulled the last of our pepper plants out in preparation of the winter ahead. This is a simple, nutritious recipe packed with protein that can be ready in no time if you soak the black beans the night before. Feel free to change up the “stuffing” based on what you’re pulling from your garden or CSA box! And, as always, spice it up with more hot pepper to suit your taste!
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c finely chopped onion
1 1/2 c fresh spinach, chopped
3 large carrots, grated with julienne slicer
2 large (1 lb) Roma tomatoes, chopped (reserve any juice from tomatoes)
2 cups raw black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed thoroughly
3/4 c quinoa
5 large red (or any color) bell pepper, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
In a medium sauce pan, combine black beans with 3 c water. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low-medium heat for 10-20 minutes. When tender, drain and rinse. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with 1 1/2 c water, bring briefly to a boil, then simmer at low temperature for about 10 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and cumin. Stir and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in spinach and tomatoes (drained from their juice). Cook 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been evaporated.
Stir in quinoa, black beans, carrots and 2 c water. Cover, and bring briefly to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. (black beans are already cooked, so this doesn’t take long).
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Pour liquid from tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish.
Fill each bell pepper with a heaping 3/4 c of quinoa mixture and place into baking dish.
Cook at 350° F for 10-20 minutes, checking to be sure peppers don’t soften.
Transfer peppers to serving dish and drizzle with pan juices before serving.
Pair with your favorite greens salad!