Thursday, February 10, 2011

Porcini and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Porcini and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers served with Tamari Roasted Cauliflower and Sauteed Escarole  

Talk about making half of your plate vegetables, this meal does more than that! I was looking for a good recipe to serve as a substitute for meat stuffed peppers. I came upon a quinoa stuffed pepper recipe, but I didn't love the flavor. So, I made my own. I love the flavor that the dried mushrooms add to the quinoa. I also added diced potatoes for a couple reasons. My kids love potatoes and their flavor really enhances this recipe. Also, my teenagers are athletes and they need a lot of carbohydrates, especially my son who has type 1 diabetes. I'm always looking for a balance of healthy high fiber carbohydrates and protein to feed my son to prevent the blood sugar crashes that can happen about 8 hours after his training. 

Along with the healthy protein and carbohydrate from the quinoa, there is an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients from all the other ingredients in this meal. I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Porcini and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 small leek,  cleaned and sliced
1 c. quinoa (I used red)
2 T. grapeseed oil
5 red bell peppers
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium potato, diced
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
2 1/2 tsp. low sodium tamari
If you are unfamiliar with how to clean a leek, follow the link for directions.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Soak porcini mushrooms in 1 c. hot water for about 15 minutes. When soft, drain through a cheese cloth, saving mushroom broth. Dice the mushrooms.
2. Cook quinoa in 1 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth.
3. Core and wash peppers, removing seeds.
4. Heat grapeseed oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic for 1 min. Add leeks and saute another minute. Add celery, carrot, mushrooms and potato and cook for another 5 minutes or until potato starts to brown.
5. Reduce heat to low. Add cooked quinoa and mushroom broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until liquid is absorbed.
6. Stuff peppers with quinoa mixture, dividing the mixture equally among the peppers and filling them to the top.
7. Place stuffed peppers in a baking pan. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. low sodium tamari on top of each pepper. Add about 1/2 c. water to the bottom of the pan and bake the peppers 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves 5

Tamari Roasted Cauliflower

1 small head cauliflower split into florets
1 T. grapeseed oil
1 T. low sodium tamari

1. Mix all ingredients together on a rimmed cookie sheet.
2. Roast at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until browned and tender. Stir half way through cooking.
3. Serve and enjoy! It couldn't be any easier!

Sauteed Escarole with Spiced Oil

The spiced oil in this recipe comes from a vegan cookbook that I have been using a lot lately. The Best of Bloodroot, Volume Two has many wonderful recipes. I highly recommend it!

4 T. grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. whole cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 T. low sodium tamari
8 c. chopped escarole

1. Make the spiced oil. Add grapeseed oil, red pepper flakes, cumin and turmeric to a small pan and heat over medium heat until aromatic. This will take only a few seconds once the oil gets hot.
2. Add 2 T. of the spiced oil to a wok. Heat over medium-high temperature. Add escarole and saute for a couple minutes, until escarole is half wilted.
3. Add tamari and serve.

Save the extra oil to use in other dishes. It provides the nutritional benefit of capsaicin and curcumin, two plant chemicals with health properties. It also tastes out of this world!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great post. I love the quinoa mushroom combo and mushrooms such great immune boosters. I also love escarole and always forget about it. And the tamari with cauliflower, simple but interesting ideas. Thanks.