This is a recipe that could easily be served to all guests as it can be a side dish served with meat or fish or a vegetarian entrée. Without the topping it fits in a vegan diet as well. Without heavy seasonings or a lot of fat the fresh flavors of ginger, peppers and sweet beets predominate, complimented by the smoked paprika and cilantro.
Makes 8 stuffed pepper halves.
Preheat oven to 350°
Time required: 1 hour not including baking.
½ Cup Quinoa
1 Cup Water for Quinoa
4 Bell Peppers – orange or yellow if available
2 Gold Beets – about 3” in diameter
2 Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1 piece ginger root about 1 ½ inches long
Handful of cilantro or parsley to make about ½ cup when leaves are removed from stems and chopped.
Topping: crème fresh, non-fat Greek yogurt, or a combination of the two, about 2 Tablespoons per serving.
Cut the ends off the beets and wash them. Place them in a pan filled with about an inch of water and put them on the high heat. Once the water comes to a boil reduce the setting to medium. If you want the beets to cook faster, cut them in half before steaming. Check the water periodically and add more if needed. These will cook for about 30 minutes.
Next bring the 1 cup of water to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low, covering the pot with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes.
While the beets and quinoa cook, prepare the other ingredients. Wash and cut the peppers in half, removing seeds and white membrane inside.
Peel the carrots and grate them, either with a food processor or hand grater.
Peel the ginger root and grate it with the fine side of a grater.
Wash the scallions and chop the white part plus about half way up into the green leaves.
Pick leaves off of the cilantro or parsley and chop coarsely.
Remove Quinoa from heat after 15 minutes and let it sit with the lid on the pot until you’re ready to add it to the other ingredients.
Put oil in a frying pan and add the scallions, stirring over medium heat for about two minutes.
Add the ginger and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Remove from pan while you peel and chop the beets.
Drain the beets and cool by running them under cold water for a minute. Remove the peel by rubbing it with your hands or a paper towel. Chop the beets into small ½ inch cubes.
Add the beets, cilantro and quinoa to the carrot mixture and blend all the ingredients together.
Arrange the peppers on a parchment-covered cookie sheet, inside down, and spritz or brush them with oil. Turn them over and fill with the quinoa/beet/carrot mix.
Shake some smoked paprika on each pepper. The recipe can be made ahead to this point and stored kept for three or four hours in a cool place before baking.
Bake for 30 minutes if you’re putting the tray in the oven right away – 45 minutes if you’ve chilled the peppers and filling before baking.
Top with a tablespoon or two of crème fresh, non-fat Greek yogurt, or a mix of the two. I used equal parts of the crème fresh, non-fat Greek yogurt and it was delicious.
At Coffee for Roses Wednesday is for foodies – we spend the middle of the week in the heart of the home, but you can, of course, make these recipes any day of the week.