Hey there, I’m Cathi, from Cherry Blossom Kitchen and I’m extremely honored to be a monthly contributor here at Pink Heels Pink Truck!! This month’s recipe is sure to be a new favorite. My Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa, Chickpeas, Basil and Mint is easy to prepare, super healthy and packed with fresh flavors! If you’ve never combined fresh basil and mint before, you’re in for an amazing taste experience! And, it was 99 degrees today here in South Texas, so, a recipe that does not require a hot oven or standing over a hot grill is perfect for this time of year!
Just a couple of facts about quinoa; it’s gluten-free, has a low glycemic index and provides all of the eight essential amino acids. The National Academy of Sciences has classified it as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. You can’t argue with that!!
3 bell peppers
½ cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup canned chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
¾ cup yellow and red grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer to remove the bitter coating on the seeds. Add broth and quinoa to a saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover
and cook 15 minutes. Quinoa is cooked when each grain is translucent and the white germ is clearly visible.
While quinoa is cooking, cut the peppers in half top to bottom to create a ‘boat’. Remove the seeds and membranes. Set aside.
Transfer quinoa to a large bowl, toss to cool. Cool completely.
In a blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients except oil. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the oil and mix until completely blended.
Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, basil and mint to the bowl with the quinoa, and enough vinaigrette to coat.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon about ½ cup quinoa mixture into each pepper half and serve.
I’m looking forward to seeing you again next month with another healthy, tasty recipe that’s big on flavor!