Quinoa and Feta Stuffed Peppers
Earth-shattering news from LA: still not feeling very autumnal here. Aside from the light in the morning, you wouldn’t know, because it’s been between 75 and 80, even at the beach. This is absurd.
The point is that my internal clock tells me I should be inhaling pumpkin products, decorating for Halloween, layering, and baking, but I’m having trouble bringing myself to do those things when I have the option of drinking (pumpkin spice) smoothies and laying out.
Aside from a certain penis cake I made last weekend (for research purposes), I haven’t baked anything yet this fall (that’s a lie. There’s something in the oven right now. But we’ll get to that).
I have, however, roasted something. Three somethings, actually, in a loaf pan. I made these Italian-tasting quinoa-stuffed peppers, which at least look autumnal and taste really great.
These were inspired by a Smitten Kitchen recipe involving cous-cous and chickpeas. I switched it up quite a bit, using shallots instead of onions and replacing cous-cous with quinoa. Because I’m an individual. I also cut down on the oregano, added cabernet salt in place of regular, and omitted the fennel and the chickpeas altogether. I like chickpeas, but they don’t belong here.
Cabernet salt might be my favorite kitchen thing ever. My mom bought it for my dad from Sur La Table a few months ago and I have appropriated it. It belongs to me now. It is so rad I can’t even do it justice. If you don’t have it– I’m deeply sorry for you. But sea salt will also do the trick, and perhaps a splash of red wine.
VAGUELY AUTUMNAL QUINOA AND FETA STUFFED PEPPERS
inspired by Smitten Kitchen
3 bell peppers
1 cup quinoa
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small zucchini, sliced and then halved
1 small yellow squash, sliced and then halved
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
pinch of dried oregano
1/2 tsp. or more of cabernet salt (or sea salt)
1 large tomato (or 1 cup cherry tomatoes)
2 tbl. tomato paste
feta cheese — however much you feel like
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a small baking dish or loaf pan with cooking spray. Cut the tops off the peppers and scrape out the insides. Place them upright in the dish and bake for 15 minutes, until just softened; remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions (sidenote : I use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water, it gives it a lot more flavor) and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, zucchini, squash, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until vegetable are softened.
Remove pan from heat and add tomatoes and tomato paste; mix well.
Add quinoa and stir into vegetables. Add feta and combine.
Fill peppers with mixture and bake 15 more minutes.