CONFETTI QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS

Submitted by Pamela Gelsomini


About the cook: Pamela Gelsomini is a passionate cook and foodie. An entrepreneur who spent the last 20 years traveling the globe for her business and embracing the cultures and cuisines all over the world. She retired recently and is working on launching a new blog, ‘Dish off the Block’ which will feature her food that is inspired by local and international flavors. She is a wife and mother of two teens who serve as her best critics.

About the dish: "Quinoa?", my kids said... "What is that?"... Several years later this dish is a family favorite. A delicious blend of quinoa and a plethora of colorful vegetables that dance on the plate. Finished with goat cheese and topped with shredded Swiss, it tastes decadent, but is a very healthy plate! Gluten free and vegetarian with high levels of protein due to the power-packed quinoa. DELISH!



National Origin: American

Serves: 6

Estimated Time: 30 to 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

6 large yellow, red, and green bell peppers (any combination)
1 cup quinoa
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 large leek, chopped white and light green parts
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
7 oz. shitake mushrooms, stems removed and tops sliced cross-wise
1 small zucchini, sliced into ¼” half moons
1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, packed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
8 oz. goat cheese crumbled
2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

Preparation:

Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the stems and seeds, reserving the edible part from the lid. Chop these tops into a ½ dice and set aside.

Place pepper ‘cups’ in a large stock pot and cover with salted water. Boil until tender when pierced with a fork. Reserve 2 cups of the ‘pepper water’. Remove peppers from pan and cool and drain, upside down, on paper towels.

Cook 1 cup raw quinoa in the reserved 2 cups of stock until it comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until all the moisture is absorbed, about 15 minutes. The quinoa will be translucent in color.

Heat olive and butter in large deep skillet. Add the reserved chopped peppers, leeks, and garlic to the pan. Sauté until tender and then add mushrooms, zucchini, and tomatoes to skillet. Continue to cook until the onions and mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

Add quinoa, spinach, corn, basil, salt and black pepper to the pan and toss to mix. Cook for another 5 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat. Add crumbled goat cheese and toss gently. Scoop the mixture into the peppers to fill each shell. Sprinkle shredded Swiss over the top of peppers.

Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until the Swiss cheese is melted and lightly browned. Garnish with more fresh chopped basil and serve.

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