QUINOA AND AMARANTH STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
Sometimes it’s tough to brainstorm new recipes that are tasty, but also provide all the great nutrients you want to nourish your family with. I made these Quinoa and Amaranth Stuffed Peppers for lunch yesterday, and maybe this is the answer you’ve been looking for! Its quite a regular dish in our home as its a family favorite and of course low in carbs and full of nutrition. It’s been flavoured with wonderful herbs like mint, parsley and coriander, alongside some pistachios for a nutty crunch and raisins for slight sweetness. The peppers, when baked in the oven, take on a lovely sweetness which bind the whole dish together!
It’s topped with a dash Parmesan, but you can replace it with vegan cheese or omit the cheese entirely to make it vegan. This dish is an absolute wonder as its not only a vegan dish packed with nutrition but its gluten-free and Keto friendly too!
I bet you know all about how fantastic quinoa is, and amaranth is equally packed with qualities. It’s a wonderful superfood, and amongst other seeds and grains, it has one of the highest protein quantities, is great for those who have arthritis, is rich in essential oils that are especially good for controlling cholesterol, and many other vitamins and minerals.
All of the ingredients in this dish are super healthy and nutritious, but what’s really wonderful is that they’re all encapsulated inside easy-to-serve individual portions of the pepper halves. You can either serve it as a main or as a side.
And those hands you see serving the dish - that’s my son, very sweetly he accepted to become a hand model for me 😄 Or maybe he was very eager and was trying to snatch one of the peppers?? Hmm... we’ll never know!
Please do write the feedback and post comments in the comments section below the recipe. It means the whole world to me to know someone out there is trying out my recipes. You can tag me on my Instagram page: instagram.com/simranskitchenoman/
PREP TIME: 30 minutes COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
BAKE TIME: 1 hour SERVES: 5-6
8-10 small to medium size bell peppers/ capsicum (red and yellow mixed)
3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup amaranth
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch piece ginger, chopped
1-2 green chillies, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 tbsp golden raisins
1/4 cup pistachios, roasted and chopped
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
2 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
20g parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven at 240°-250°C.
Cut the bell peppers in half, keeping the stalk intact. Remove seeds and core.
In a large baking dish, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and coat the base well. Place the bell peppers in it facing the cut side up. Cover with the aluminium foil and bake it in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. In a medium saucepan, cook quinoa adding one and a half cups of water. Once it come to boiling point reduce the heat. Cook on low heat until fluffy and soft, about 12-15 minutes.
In another small saucepan, cook amaranth seeds adding 1 1/4 cup of water. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat and cook on low flame until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
In a wok, warm remaining olive oil, add onions, ginger, garlic and green chilli. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent, add chopped tomatoes and salt, sauté until they collapse, about 3 minutes.
Add cooked quinoa and amaranth, stir to mix. Add pepper, stir and taste seasoning, add if need more. Remove from heat, add chopped pistachios, raisins, coriander, mint and parsley.
Now remove aluminium foil from the empty baked bell peppers, drain out the water accumulated from each pepper. Using a table spoon, fill the bell peppers with the stuffing.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley on top of each pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake further for 25-30 minutes at 240°C, until lightly charred and wilted, and soft to touch.
Serve as a main or as a side along with other grilled proteins.
I used superfoods like quinoa and amaranth for the stuffing but you can always make these stuffed with cooked rice. Use the same method, just replace the quinoa and amaranth with cooked rice.
It can also be stuffed with meat stuffing to make it a non-vegetarian version.
I used smaller or medium sized bell peppers to cook faster and enjoy the thinner charred skin than the larger peppers. But you can use any peppers even the longer sweet pointed red peppers goes so well in this dish.
Pistachios can also be replaced with any nut of your choice, sometimes i make this with pine nuts, which are my favourite.