Are you trying to eat healthier, with less meat, and on a budget, but not sure how to do it? This is a really nice meatless/vegan recipe that will satisfy your whole family.
This Quinoa, roasted vegetables and apricot stuffed peppers dinner option can be done in about 50-55 minutes total, including preparation, and costs under $20 to feed 4 people with all organic ingredients! You can also prepare the quinoa mixture ahead of time and save yourself an extra 20-25 minutes.
Stuffed Peppers – Yuck?
I was never a fan of stuffed peppers when I was a kid, probably because the peppers always ended-up overcooked and soggy (like many other recipes where the vegetables were overcooked! Ahh the 80’s!). But fear not, this recipe is not like that! It’s fresh, the peppers are soft but yet remain with just enough crunch. The stuffing is so delicious with a mix of sweet and salty, it’s sure to be a winner. Play with the colours, go for yellow, red, orange and green peppers. It’ll look appetizing in your plate and attractive enough for your kids to try it.
Where’s the protein?
Research has shown that we don’t need as much protein as people seem to think, however, it is essential to eat proteins daily for our body to properly function and defend itself. But did you know that almost everything contains protein? That’s right, even vegetables contain protein, but in different quantities, and vegetables contain a different kind of protein than meat and animal-sourced proteins. Quinoa is an excellent source of complete protein, meaning your body will absorb the proteins at a much higher level than other types of proteins. So whether you are an omnivore, a vegetarian, or a vegan, it’s a wonderful and nutritious food to include regularly in our meals.
If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot. It’s very versatile, cooks the same way as rice, and can replace rice in most recipes.
This recipe is for 4 servings, if you want less or more servings, just divide by two or double the recipe.
Quinoa, Roasted Vegetables and Apricot-Stuffed Peppers
25 min preparation
30 min cooking time
- 4 large fresh organic peppers (colour of your choice)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (white, red, or black, your choice)
- 2 cups organic low-sodium vegetable broth, or water and 1 cube of low-sodium, gluten-free vegetable bouillon
- 1 large onion, minced (approx. 1/4” cubes)
- 1 medium size turnip or rutabaga (approx. 1/3 lb/150 g), peeled, cut into very small cubes (approx. 1/4”) or a small winter squash
- 2 small to medium-size carrots, cut in 4, lengthwise, and thinly sliced/cubed
- 8 medium-size organic cremini mushrooms, cut in half and then thinly sliced
- 6-8 large organic Swiss Chard leaves, washed, dried, rolled in a bunch lengthwise and thinly sliced (approx. 1/2”)
- 1/4 cup cubed dried organic apricots (approx. 1/4”) or organic raisins (tastes just as delicious with raisins – trust me!)
- high quality extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking
- 1/2 tsp grey sea salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
Tahini Mustard Sauce
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 2 Tbsp grain mustard (or sometimes called Old Fashioned)
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp good quality olive oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- a pinch of grey sea salt + black pepper
- Wash and dry the peppers. Cut the tops off around the stem, in order to keep as much height as possible in the peppers, or cut in half lengthwise. Remove all the seeds inside and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-size pot, bring the broth (or water with bouillon cube) to a boil, pour the quinoa in, reduce temperature to medium, and cook for 20 min (if the liquid is completely evaporated before the end, add a bit more water).
- While this is cooking, put a large pan on medium heat, drizzle with olive oil, quickly sauté the vegetables: first the minced onion for 1 minute, then add the turnip and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Drizzle a bit more olive oil and add the mushroom to sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard, the apricot pieces (or raisins) and a light drizzle of olive oil if the pan is too dry, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Turn oven on to 375F.
- When the quinoa is ready (there should be no more liquid by then), pour it in the pan with all the vegetables, mix, add the salt and pepper, and fill the peppers with the mixture until overflowing.
- Place the baking sheet with the stuffed peppers in the middle of the oven and cook for 30 minutes or so, or until the peppers are cooked but keep their shape (you don’t want to overcook them or they’ll get mushy).
- While the peppers are cooking, put all the ingredients for the tahini mustard sauce in a jar with a tight lid, and shake vigorously.
You have time to also make a quick green salad, like this simple green salad 🙂
Serve with a generous drizzle of the tahini mustard sauce on top, and a green salad on the side.
These can be fully prepared and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or put in the freezer in an airtight container, for up to 2 months. Thaw and heat in a 375F oven for 10-15 minutes.