Red Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers

Some food items you read about on the internet aren’t as easily to come by as one would think, even with globalisation. Having discovered yellow beet at our local market after a two-year search, I now happened upon some red quinoa. Not that finding these food items is vital to my survival, after all we have red beets and white quinoa here, but I like trying things previously unknown to me.

The red quinoa has been sitting on the kitchen counter for a few weeks now, because although I was happy that I found it, I didn’t actually have any concrete ideas what to make with it. Then my parents’ garden yielded some mini peppers, and I decided to stuff these with the quinoa. I was wondering how the red quinoa was going to taste in comparison with the white one, and I found its flavour to be a little nuttier.

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Most of the other ingredients came to be in there just because I happened to have them at hand, and so I decided to give these stuffed peppers a Mexican touch. So I added black beans, fresh coriander, chilli, and lime juice. I was pondering adding some fried tofu but went with bacon instead.

I didn’t want to cook the quinoa in stock, so I added the chilli and some garlic to the cooking water. The bacon, coriander and lime added to the overall flavour, so there wasn’t much more required spice-wise.

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These stuffed peppers turned out really nice, all the flavours came together the way I had imangined, and I enjoyed them a lot for my Sunday lunch. They’re also something I’d consider making as a starter for guests. In that case, the quinoa filling can be prepared ahead.

Note: Although the packaging said the quinoa would be done in 25 minutes, it took about twice the time, and three times as much water than stated. I only had three peppers but the filling would have been enough for four.

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Red Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers

  • Servings: 4 as a starter
  • Difficulty: easy
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125 g red quinoa
1 tsp salt
1 very small chilli, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 bacon slices, cut into strips
knob of butter
6 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
150 g black beans
140 g hard cheese, cubed
2 limes
4 mini peppers

Cook the quinoa with the salt, chilli and garlic, starting out with 250 ml water. Keep an eye on the quinoa and add more water as you go; the overall cooking time will be about 40 – 50 minutes, so check the consistency of the quinoa and once it’s done just let the water cook down without adding any more.

Meanwhile, cut off the top of the peppers (as close to the stem as possible) and remove the seeds without damaging the peppers.

In a small frying pan, melt some butter and fry the bacon.

Once the quinoa is cooked, mix in the bacon, beans, 4 tbsp coriander and cheese, then squeeze half a lime over it and stir well.

Place the peppers on a baking grid over a baking tray, and grill under the oven grill for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and fill them with the quinoa mixture. Put back under the grill and cook for another 7 minutes.

Serve immediately with the remaining 2 tbsp chopped coriander sprinkled over each pepper, and with a quarter or two of lime.

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