It's Memorial Day Weekend. I make no apology for the Green Chile Bacon Burgers with warm, melted cheese on toasted sesame seed buns that will be consumed by the dozens at my house. Or the gallon of homemade peach ice cream, for that matter. However, to keep the neighbors from talking, I pledge to skip the potato salad in all its mayonnaise glory and serve my Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Peppers... just to balance things out a little.
What! A recipe with black beans? I know what you are thinking. "Sandy, you don't even like beans!"
Sounds like a tough challenge, I know. Not with this Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Pepper Recipe. The peppers are stuffed with so many Southwest vegetables and topped with a crunchy bread crumb and parmesan cheese topping that the beans were actually good... yeah , I said it. Good.
Serve the stuffed peppers with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce for a great side dish or even a vegetarian main dish for Meatless Monday. Or, skip the pepper and chill the Black Bean and Quinoa Salad instead. Serve the salad with salsa in a lettuce leaf for a Southwest Vegetarian Lettuce Wrap. The lettuce leaf is great way to pick it up and carry it around at your summer picnic.
First step–choose your veggies. I chose Southwest flavors, of course. Fresh corn, tomatoes, onion and bell pepper (I didn't have a poblano or anaheim chile or I would have used that). Oh, and jicama for crunch. Sorry, the jicama didn't make the group photo, but you can see it on the far right bellow.
Dice the veggies to a uniform size, about the size of the corn, so that they will warm evenly and quickly.
Meanwhile, bring the water for the quinoa to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the quinoa. Bring the water back to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover, simmer for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Pour into a bowl to cool.
Toss the quinoa with the diced veggies and drained black beans.
Cut the tops off the peppers and stuff with the black bean and quinoa salad. If the peppers do not stand up, cut a small slice off the bottom. Try not to cut all the way through the pepper (Oops... ) as I have illustrated for you in the above photo.
Toss the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together. Spoon over stuffed peppers and drizzle with olive oil.
Place stuffed peppers on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled. Bake at 350 until the peppers are tender, but still al dente and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Be sure the Black Bean and Quinoa Salad is heated through.
Serve the peppers with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce.
Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
1 and ½ cup quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock or water
7 small bell peppers
2 ears fresh corn
½ cup tomatoes, diced and seeded (optional if using salsa)
½ small red onion, diced
½ cup jicama, diced
1 can black beans, drained well
½ cup vinaigrette
salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 cups of your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce
Directions for Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Stuffed Peppers Recipe
Preheat oven to 350°. Bring vegetable stock or water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce the temperature and cover with the lid. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl, set aside to cool.
Prepare vegetables for salad. Cut corn kernels from the cob. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out the insides and dice. Dice one bell pepper, onion and jicama.
Drain the black beans well so that the liquid does not discolor the quinoa salad.
In a large bowl, toss the diced vegetables, drained black beans and cooled quinoa with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and black pepper.
Cut the tops off the remaining bell peppers. Remove the seeds. Spoon the black bean and quinoa salad mixture into the bell peppers. Place bell peppers on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. If the bell peppers don't stand up, cut a small slice off the bottom to help them stand.
Mix the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the bell peppers and drizzle tops with olive oil.
Cook for 10 -15 minutes, or until bread crumbs are toasted. The peppers should be tender, but al dente and the filling should be warmed through.
Serve with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce.
-posted by Sandy