Quinoa Stuffed peppers (vegan)

Need (or want) a light, vegan Mexican meal? Look no further!

Very simple dish to make for any occasion. It takes a little while to bake in the oven, but the prep is really really easy -- like easy enough for people who are too scared to even step into a kitchen because they're afraid they may burn the house down or somehow make dinner taste like it could be fed to dogs. 

Take a shot and try it out sometime!

Ingredients:

Peppers:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, halved, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup salsa, plus more for serving
  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained (if unsalted, add 1/4 tsp sea salt)
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn, drained

Toppings (optional):

  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Hot sauce
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Diced red onion
  • Vegan creamy cilantro dressing (or if you're not vegan, try Bolthouse Farms cilantro avocado dressing - SO GOOD!)
  • Your favorite salsa

Directions:

  1. Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy - about 15-20 minutes. (Make sure to stir a few times towards the end of cooking it, so it doesn't burn/stick to the bottom.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Brush halved peppers with a little bit of high heat oil like avocado oil or spray them with a non-stick oil spray. I used olive oil spray and it turned out just fine.
  4. Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients - salsa through corn. Mix to thoroughly combine then taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding salt, pepper, or more spices as desired.
  5. Generously stuff halved peppers with quinoa mixture until all peppers are full, then cover the dish with foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove foil, increase heat to 400° F, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until peppers are soft and slightly golden brown.
  7. Serve with desired toppings (listed above) or as is. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through - about 20 minutes.

{Recipe adapted from minimalistbaker.com}