Sunday, July 1, 2012


I'm on vacation and the weather only started to cooperate with me around 8pm tonight. I spent most of the day running any errand I could imagine that had me in air conditioning. I've got my planters planted (Thank you "early morning before the heat wave" trip to the farmer's market and late afternoon heat-avoiding trip to Menard's.) I've also stocked my fridge because "boy do they keep those grocery stores cool." Now that the heat has let up slightly (it is still 82 degrees in my house), I wanted to make something that took more time and energy than I usually have at the end of a work day.

Inspired by Vegetarian Times' Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers, but wanting to go solidly Italian, I came up with this uber-delectable dish:

Italian Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4
Time: 2 hours

4 bell peppers (red or green, your choice)
1-2 T olive oil
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil

28 oz diced fire-roasted tomatoes (drain the tomatoes and reserve the liquid)
1 lg zucchini (diced)
2 Tofurky Italian Sausages
3/4 c quinoa
2 c water (or veggie broth)
1 head curly kale (stems removed)
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/2 c bread crumbs
black pepper to taste
salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat large skillet on high (with a cover) and add olive oil and diced onions and let brown. Cut the peppers either in half or the tops off. If you cut the tops off, dice and add them to the onions. Add the oregano, basil and minced garlic to the onions. Add zucchini and italian sausage and continue to brown. Add drained diced tomatoes and reduce heat to med-high. Add quinoa and water and 1/4 c nutritional yeast. Stir and let come to a boil before reducing to a simmer and covering to cook for 20 minutes. While mixture cooks, spray 8x8 glass pan with oil and add reserved tomato juice. Place peppers in the glass pan and fill with the mixture (pack it in!) Cover in tinfoil and cook for 1 hour in oven. Mix bread crumbs, black pepper, 1/4 c nutritional yeast. Remove tinfoil, kick up the oven to 450 degrees and top peppers with bread crumbs and put them back in the oven (immediately) for 20 minutes or until the crumb browns. Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of the tomato sauce from the cooking pan. Enjoy!

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