Quinoa is all the talk these days in the "health world" and for good reason! Because of it's high protein count (including 9 essential amino acids) and it's low glycemic index, it has become a healthier alternative for rice/grains and used in various other ways to "enhance" nutrition in recipes. Some other benefits of Quinoa is it's high fiber content which keeps one feeling "full" throughout the day, minerals and it's gluten-free!
So, what exactly is Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah")? Although it is commonly mistaken for a grain, Quinoa is technically the seed of a leafy plant first used in South America by the ancient Indians. More recently, after learning of its super-nutritional contents, it began being cultivated in the 1980'a near Boulder, Colorado. In the last couple of years, its popularity has exploded!
I began cooking with Quinoa early last year, since discovering all of its awesomeness and I LOVE it! My favorite part about Quinoa is it's flexibility. Seriously, I had it in pizza dishes (Quinoa Pizza Bites), breakfast dishes and even desserts (Cinnamon Quinoa Bars)! Today I am going to share with you one of my more recent recipes using Quinoa...
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
4 medium pepper (any color)
2 cups of cooked Quinoa
1/2 pound cooked ground turkey
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup salsa
3/4 cup black beans (optional)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 finely chopped small onion
1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.
2. Cut peppers in half and scrape out all the "insides" leaving a hollow shell.
3. Brown the ground turkey and cook the Quinoa according to the directions on the box. One variation on the Quinoa is I like to use vegetable broth in place of water while preparing it. I think this gives the Quinoa a bit more flavor!
4. Combines all ingredients and mix well. Stuff each pepper with the mixture and place on a baking dish.
5. Bake the peppers until the top starts to become a crispy brown. This usually takes about 20-25 minutes.