April 13, 2012

Quinoa stuffed peppers | raw chocolate bites | Cute neighbor

At a recent family dinner, I served something I haven't made in years, and consider a little retro — stuffed peppers. Do people still make these? Maybe I'm just out of touch because I'm not that fond of peppers, and don't cook with them very often, but I have to admit, they were good.

The peppers were served at a holiday meal alongside potato kugel, cranberry-apple sauce and a large salad, and preceded by smoky cream of broccoli soup. I also made the delicious Silky Chickpea Gravy from Appetite for Reduction.

I can't give exact measurements for the quinoa filling but will tell  you  everything that was in it, and how it was made; there's lots of room for improvisation. The leftover filling, baked in a separate casserole dish alongside the peppers, was used as a side dish, and tasted great on its own, minus the pepper.

I started with 1-1/2 cups of raw quinoa which was cooked in three cups of low-sodium broth. Several chopped carrots, a few ribs of chopped celery, many sliced mushrooms, and a large chopped onion were stir-fried until nearly cooked, then pulsed in the food processor until they were finely chopped but NOT puréed. The vegetables were mixed into the quinoa along with 1/2 cup of shelled, roasted but unsalted pistachios, about 1/2 cup of chopped kalamata olives, salt and pepper. This should be enough for six large peppers.

The peppers were halved, seeded and gently steamed until they began to soften. The stuffing was pressed into the peppers, carefully filling all the cavities and mounding over the tops. The stuffed peppers were then loosely covered, and baked at 350˚F. They were garnished with a bit of ketchup because I hadn't gotten around to making the tomato sauce I'd thought about.

The quinoa tasted fabulous, and I will make it again as a side dish, or as a stuffing for collard leaves if I'm feeling more ambitious. I just don't like peppers that much.

For dessert we had fruit salad and raw chocolate morsels from a recipe in Raw for Dessert by Jennifer Cornbleet. (reviewed here) The recipe I used was for Chocolate Cupcakes, and it was wonderful. Ever since I got my candy moulds, I've been obsessed with using them and this was the perfect recipe for making small-sized treats. (The moulds are fantastic, and if you are thinking about purchasing moulds, I recommend these.) After filling the moulds, I placed them in the freezer until the "cupcakes" were firm, then popped them out and stored them in a tightly sealed container in the freezer until serving time. They don't actually freeze, and are just right for eating right from the freezer. (More about these later.)

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Cute neighbor
Here's a cute photo of our cute neighbor, Lucy, curled up on our bed. Did I say "cute" too many times? Lucy comes to visit often, and seems to think she lives here. What she doesn't know is if she lived here, she wouldn't be allowed to roam around outdoors. She's the nicest cat anyone could wish for — so loving and sweet. And very cute.

39 comments:

  1. Again with the homemade candy; you keep raising the bar, Andrea! So impressive- everything.

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    1. Thank you! But it's not just chocolate — there are peppers, and quinoa, and vegetables. The chocolates are pretty irresistible, though. It's so hard having them in the freezer and trying to limit myself to just two a day. Or three.
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  2. Lucy is gorgeous! She looks so cuddly, too. <3

    We've made stuffed peppers in various ways several times. Bell peppers are always a staple in our house, especially since the pups love slices of them for treats. Your stuffed peppers look fantastic!

    That's great that you got to use the molds. They turned out very pretty. :)

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    1. Lucy loves to cuddle. She never scratches, either, and she has all her claws.

      I never thought of giving my dogs peppers, though they loved all veggies. As for the molds, maybe I should use them a little less. :)

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  3. Those peppers look so good! I love stuffed peppers, and yes I for one, still make them. I love the quinoa as a filling; I must try that soon! I've been in the mood for stuffed peppers lately....your post has pushed me over the top.

    I love the raw chocolately things! Those little morsels look quite delicious!

    And of course, what can I say...Lucy is a cutie; I have a special place in my heart for tortoise shell kitties...well, and all kitties too. :)

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    1. Thanks! I loved the filling but can't get excited over peppers. But the chocolates — I never get tired of them!

      Lucy is an amazing cat and I miss her when she isn't around.

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  4. Oooh Lucy is more than cute, she's beautiful! Dat fuzz! I'm sort of on the fence about stuffed peppers too - they're fun to eat and pretty easy to make but I don't like cooked pepper much either. A good filling can usually make their case, though, and yrs sounds very good with the pistachios!
    Love the idea of serving the filling stuffed in collard wraps, though. I ought to try that.

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    1. She's so soft and cuddly, and doesn't mind when I scratch and pet her a long time — unusual in a cat.

      You're right about peppers being convenient to make — and they look really nice, too. Plus most people seem to like them, so they make a handy company meal. But ...

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  5. I'm with you on the not loving capsicum, but that quinoa looks delicious, I'm thinking it could be a good topping for mushroom though! Looks so yummy!

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    1. Juicy mushrooms topped with quinoa sounds delicious. Maybe I'll try that next time.

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  6. These peppers look absolutely wonderful! I haven't made stuffed peppers in a while; clearly, I should remedy that as soon as this awful stretch of school is over!

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    1. I loved the challenge of being in school — but the thought of doing it all again is a little scary. I can't believe you still manage to publish your beautiful blog! I'm taking Spanish right now, and even that is taxing my poor brain. To balance the "strain" I'm also taking a Woody Allen film course. :)

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  7. I haven't made stuffed peppers in such a long time! When I was newly vegan, Veganomicon just came on the scene. There's a recipe in it for stuffed peppers with black eyed peas that I made often. It sounds like it was a delicious feast!

    Lucy is so adorable! She would certainly be a visitor I'd enjoy seeing.

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    1. I'm probably the only vegan on earth who doesn't own a copy of Veganomicon! Black-eyed-peas would be perfect in a pepper stuffing — I'll have to remember that.

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  8. I love stuffed peppers. Yep, they are totally retro, but no worse for that. Looks like a lovely recipe too!

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    1. I loved the stuffing, just not the peppers, but I ate one. I don't dislike them exactly, I just prefer not to eat them, as other vegetables taste better to me. They are so pretty, though, and make an impressive platter.

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  9. I didn't know stuffed peppers were retro, but even if so I'll take them. I just might be able to try a pepper again sometime soon I hope. The stuffing looks great even for a zucchini otherwise.

    Horray for raw chocolate! So fun to do, huh?

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    1. Maybe they're not — I just haven't encountered them in such a long time. I like the idea of using the stuffing for zucchini, and I may do that when zucchini season starts. We bought a big bag of quinoa at Costco so we'll probably be eating a LOT of quinoa dishes!

      The raw chocolate was great — and so fast and easy to make! It basically had three ingredients. Can you eat dates?

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  10. That looks delicious! Missed you at Passover.... we were out of town too, and eating as well as we could at two seders. Actually, there were vegan options at my uncle's retirement home, with dark-chocolate-covered matzoh for desert! At my aunt's, my cousin was supposed to bring a green vegetable but she was busy, and stopped at the Chinese restaurant for sauteed pea pod greens - my favorite - and I had a very happy Passover meal with that alongside the soup and matzoh with Sephardic charoset!

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    1. Hi Claire,
      Yes, I'm nostalgic for the good-old-days of pushed together tables and too much food! This year, Aaron found himself to be the youngest at the table (who could read)! I've been eating gluten-free for months, which added an extra challenge, hence the broccoli soup. Glad you were able to put together a tasty plate at your Seder.

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  11. I LOVE your Blog:) Can't wait to try your stuffed pepper recipe:)

    Peace.

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    1. Vegan Sweetie,
      Thank you so much — for your comment and for visiting my blog.

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  12. Retro? Well, then call me a beatnik because I just made stuffed peppers for Christmas! But, of course, I-I-I didn't forget the tomato sauce like "someone else." I'm so glad to see you using those moulds - not molds? Cute neighbor, yes. But, I was hoping, wondering if it would be a humanoid - I wouldn't put it past you. Still remembering undergarments on couch.

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    1. OK, beatnik, less bragging on other people's blogs. Do you think homemade tomato sauce is better than ketchup? Do you? Hrmph.

      I'm not sure about the moulds/molds. The package and advertising said, "moulds," but it sounds weird to me. Maybe I'll switch to molds. You know, that's starting to sound weird now, too. How about "forms?" I don't like the word, "mold."
      Not here in Seattle, anyway.

      Lucy is one of the only neighbors I know, though there are a couple of cute yorkies on the corner. (dogs, not humans)

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  13. I can't handle green peppers (cooked or raw) but I do love red/yellow/orange peppers. Your quinoa stuffing sounds great--it will have to be stuffed into something in my kitchen soon!

    Courtney

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    1. I originally wanted red peppers but the store only had green ones, but I think I'd like red peppers better. I also like Bitt's suggestion to stuff zucchini. Or, just stuff it into a casserole dish, bake it, and enjoy! :)

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    2. Oh yes, stuffed zucchini is my favorite! Or in the fall/winter stuffed acorn/delecata/butternut squash...I loved stuffed veggies :-)

      Courtney

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  14. I'd say yes, stuffed peppers are retro, but so what? They look great. And those mini-cupcakes. . . to die for. Sounds like a great meal! I am not a cat lover but still must admit that Lucy is very--er, cute. ;-)

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    1. Maybe they just seem retro because it was such a long time ago when I first made them. :) The mini cupcakes are killing me — so delicious and way too easy to make.

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  15. Ha, now that you said it...you are probably right about stuffed peppers being retro. At least in our household. Probably because P isn't too much into them. Before we lived together I used to make them quite often. I should get back into this habit.

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    1. I don't think it will become a habit for me, but I may make them again for company — with red peppers instead of green.

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  16. Oh, they're retro alright! My mother made stuffed green peppers when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s and I, who was not a fussy eater at all, loathed them! I'd eat the innards, but just couldn't stomach the broiled green peppers. It was the one meal that had me suffering for hours at the table till I'd cleaned my plate, and I literally had to gag them down. But I can look at your quinoa filled ones with longing instead of loathing, because I learned to love stuffed peppers several years ago, thanks to Isa's recipe for quinoa stuffed red peppers in Vegan with a Vengeance. Delicious! And that recipe is quite different from yours so I'll have to try yours next time, though probably using red peppers, which I prefer. Sounds yummy! (Truly, the child version of me could never have believed I'd say that!) :-)

    I love your little raw chocolate morsels! They look delicious AND fun!

    And Lucy is beautiful as well as cute! I think she should adopt you full-time. :-)

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    1. I've mentioned that I don't own a copy of Veganomicon — I also don't have VWAV. Someday I mean to rectify this situation. I think I'd prefer red peppers, too.

      The chocolate morsals are amazing, and I'm going to post about them soon — with a recipe.

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  17. Hi Andrea: These look really good. I might have to get that book for the raw dessert recipes. I have not been blogging a lot lately because of school. I will be a certified Holistic Health Coach by October. I am going to try to get my blog more active as soon as I can. Love all your recipes.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! School can definitely take a lot of time, but I'm sure your blog will come back even better after you've received your certification. I'd like to read it — what is the link?

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  18. Stuffed peppers seem to be the vegan meal of choice at most of the weddings I go to…well, either that or a salad. This looks way better then any stuffed pepper I’ve ever been served. It still seems strange to me that food can be considered dated, but I also consider stuff peppers to be kind of retro.
    I wish my neighbours were half as cute as Lucy is 

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    1. I thought this was way better than any stuffed pepper I remember, but I don't remember ever getting a stuffed pepper at a wedding. Usually it's extra salad or lukewarm spaghetti. Peppers would be an upgrade!

      Maybe food takes on a retro feel when it enjoyed a special popularity during a certain time period, like fondue or Swedish meatballs from the 60s.

      I'll tell Lucy what you said. :)

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  19. First time I look your blog!
    I like it! I live in Paris.
    I'll try your pepper recipe! ;-)
    www.unpas-sur-unautre.com
    It's mine! You can translate it in english
    See u! ;-)

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! I will visit your and try to use my rusty French!

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