A few weekends ago we went to the lake for my mom’s birthday and the weather was crappy! It rained all day Saturday, and it was very windy and rough on Sunday. Not ideal lake conditions. Next best option, hang out in the kitchen cooking all day. Earlier that week, we were chatting and she mentioned she had a HUGE zucchini from her garden to use up. She wasn’t kidding.
It could have been in the running for a contest somewhere. And here’s one with my brother holding it up. He can’t even wrap his hand around the bottom of it….and he has big hands!
We decided to stuff it…..I mean what else do you do with something that big. So long story short, we combined about 4 different recipes, threw in some of our own ideas, and 2 hours later we were putting it in the oven. We were both being very indecisive which led to a much longer process than intended. But I had so much fun just hanging out with her in the kitchen!!! We don’t get to do that enough. Because it took another hour to cook, I was starving by the time it was done and forgot to take pictures. oops! So I re-created the mixture for some peppers that we needed to use up.
The quinoa mixture is sooo good!! It has a bit of spiciness, heartiness, and lots of flavor. This might have to become one of my go-to recipes.
Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
Servings: 4 peppers
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 – 8 oz pkg button mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (10-15 minutes).
2. In a large skilled, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until they start to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Add tomato sauce, basil, parsley, and fold in quinoa. ((if using Crushed Red Pepper flakes, add in with tomato sauce.) Add breadcrumbs, stir all ingredients together. If mixture seems to runny add more breadcrumbs. Stir in Parmesan cheese, reserving some for the top of peppers.
3. Cut tops off of peppers and place in a baking dish. Fill peppers with quinoa mixture.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Turn on broiler and top peppers with remaining Parmesan cheese. **Make sure to watch the oven, it might brown quickly.**
*I prefer my peppers to have some crunch so I only baked for 15 minutes and then broiled for an additional 2-3 minutes.
*Next time I would add more Red Pepper Flakes for a bit more spiciness.