You know those days when you have random stuff in the fridge and don’t quite know what to do with it? Well this is how this recipe happened. I had some leftover quinoa, a bag of mini bell peppers that I planned on dipping into hummus (but I forgot to buy the hummus), and some cilantro that really needed to be used up in the next couple of days.
Sounds like a pretty sad food day, doesn’t it? Not if you put on your creative cooking hat!
I was really pleased with how these stuffed mini bell peppers turned out. Roasted mini bell peppers are just so tender and delicious and sweet, so they were the perfect vehicle for delivering the delicious quinoa/queso fresco/cilantro stuffing. This turned out to be the perfect dinner for two, but of course the recipe can easily be doubled.
I love using quinoa in vegetarian recipes because it is packed with protein and all the essential amino acids, which totally balances out the meal.
3 oz queso fresco (feta will work too), chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a medium sized baking dish with olive oil.
Remove the cap of each bell pepper and use a knife to cut out the pith and seeds on the inside. Rinse the bell peppers to remove the remaining seeds.
In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Stuff each bell pepper with the quinoa mixture. It is easiest to do this with your hands, pushing the quinoa mixture into each bell pepper.
Carefully place the stuffed bell peppers on the baking dish. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are done to your liking. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, and serve hot. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
For this recipe I recommend using the larger mini bell peppers (if you can find those) instead of the really tiny ones, since it will be easier to stuff them.