Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It's January. For most of us, that means we've spent the last month overindulging and we're now considering how to get back to a sustainable healthy diet.

The lovely folks at Merchant Gourmet are thinking along similar lines, and have teamed up with wellbeing chef Sophie Michell to create some healthy recipes featuring grains and pulses. They're hoping to inspire the nation to join in and get inventive, and I was more than happy to take up the challenge.

In my case, December involved several nights out with great friends and free-flowing cocktails, as well as a house well stocked with chocolate and mince pies and Christmas puddings. It was excellent, I'm not complaining. But I'm more than ready to fill my plate with salads and vegetables, now.

If you're in a similar place, this recipe might help you stick to your resolutions!

I buy Merchant Gourmet stuff already pretty regularly, especially speciality ingredients like chestnuts and giant couscous, so I was happy to try out their range of ready-to-eat pulses for this recipe. I used a packet of red & white quinoa as the base for a yummy, Mexican-inspired pepper stuffing. With sweetcorn and tomatoes and red onion, and flavoured with lime and coriander and jalapeños, this whole dish is colourful and healthy and utterly moreish.

This recipe is vegan if you skip the cheese, or if you use a vegan cheese substitute. I made some with and some without cheese, and the difference is pretty subtle -- the cheese melts into the rest of the filling and changes the texture slightly, but both versions are really nice. A meal of two peppers comes out at about 360 calories, or around 300 without the cheese.

For more healthy inspiration you might like to follow @merchantgourmet on Twitter or Instagram.

I'm also linking up with Cooking With Herbs hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage, where the the theme for January is herbs and citrus fruit, so I think this coriander and lime combination fits perfectly.

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Serves 3

6 bell peppers
1-2tsp olive oil
1 small red onion
160g (5oz) cherry tomatoes
160g (5oz) sweetcorn
250g cooked quinoa (1 packet)
2tbsp fresh coriander
1tbsp diced jalapeños
Juice of 1 lime
50g grated cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Wash the peppers, cut the tops off with a sharp knife, and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Rub the outside of the peppers with olive oil, and arrange on a baking tray.
  4. Finely dice the red onion, and quarter the cherry tomatoes.
  5. Mix the onion, tomatoes, sweetcorn, quinoa, coriander, lime juice, jalapeños, and cheese (if using) in a large bowl.
  6. Fill the peppers with quinoa mixture and replace the pepper tops.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pepper skins are starting to blacken. Serve while hot.


Rachel said...

Hmm. A good basis for experimentation, I think!

Dixya said...

this is such a good idea for quick weeknight dinner!

Rachel said...

I've actually never eaten quinoa, let alone cooked it! I did make a healthy meal today, our first day back from vacation, scrambled eggs with loads of veggies, so at least we're off to a good start!

Chrissy said...

We love stuffed peppers and we love quinoa - such a great healthy version of them! Thank you for sharing your recipe, I will definitely try these!

Sheryl at How to Make a Life said...

I've made stuffed pepper and quinoa before and will certainly put this on my to make list! Thanks!

jack carlson said...

Love this !! I have made a promise to myself to cook more saving this !!! Laci @ Sequinsinthesouth.com

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More said...

Oh man, that looks so good!

Brittany Lockwood said...

Definitely saving this for later!

Brittany | Southern Soul

mypixieblog said...

Happy new year AND happy birthday, Rachel! Hope you have a fantastic day ahead :)

These look delicious. I recently made something similar but my peppers weren't nearly as pretty :) Thanks for sharing!

Karen S Booth said...

FABULOUS herb and citrus recipe Rachel - thanks so much for adding it to Cooking with Herbs! Karen

Chris @thinlyspread said...

Oh delicious! A perfect antedote to all the rich feast food of Christmas! I love the Merchant Gourmet ready packets - they're brilliant for quick, after work dinners, I'll definitely be having a go at this recipe, thanks Rachel!

Sus Davy said...

I love stuffed peppers. A cheeky way to sneak in some extra veg! These look delicious.

Choclette Blogger said...

Ooh yes please, I adore stuffed peppers and Mexican flavours and quinoa. The peppers are so wonderfully colourful too - a bit of cheer to brighten up the winter gloom.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche said...

Yuuuum! Just my sort of thing. Love the idea of the cheese melting all the way through the filling :)

Cathy @ Planet Veggie said...

Ooh, I need ready-to-eat quinoa as I've never successfully managed to cook it myself, it always comes out hard.

Shaheen said...

I can't remember if I wished you Happy New Year Rachel, but Happy New Year. I love stuffed peppers, but don't think I've had it with Quinoa. Love the flavours here.

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