Monday, May 6, 2013

Quinoa & Mango Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Quinoa & Mango Stuffed Poblano Peppers - two ways
Makes 4 stuffed peppers

When I was a kid my mom liked to cook red and green peppers stuffed with rice and corn and I’m not sure what else was in it but I liked it and it looked pretty, but I’ve had it only once or twice since then, - seems like another life ago.  For some reason the thought of a stuffed pepper swam in my head on my way home from the market this week.  I had an idea to try a variation using quinoa and poblano peppers maybe with fruit and nuts.  Lately, and more than usual, I seem to have the peppers in my fridge, I roast them for my BBQ sauce and tomatillo salsa, and the ones I had were large and perfect for stuffing.  For the fruit, I settled on mango and for a bit of crunch the walnut, though I’m sure pepitas would be great too.

This recipe is flexible, switch up the peppers, fruit, nuts maybe add more spice, I kept this dish pretty simple and topped it with creamy cilantro lime dressing.

I’m thinking next time I will try adding nutmeg and pinch of cinnamon,.

4 poblano peppers
1 cup dry quinoa - makes 3 cups cooked
2 cups veggie broth
1 medium onion chopped
handful chopped shiitake mushrooms - optional but great
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup raw unsalted walnuts chopped - or pistachios
1 tbsp fresh lime-juice
1 mango diced - 
¼ tsp cracked red pepper or cayenne - only if poblanos are not hot
2 pinches sea salt plus more if needed
pinch or two of cinnamon optional -  but good
pinch fresh nutmeg optional - but good

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

1. Pre bake the poblano peppers for 15 minutes - on parchment lined baking sheet. Remove from oven. 
Turn oven down to 375 degrees

2. Rinse the quinoa under running water, then add it to a medium pot along with the veggie broth. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 15 minutes, remove from heat and keep covered 10 more minutes. When done transfer to a large bowl.

3. While the quinoa is cooking, sauté the onion,  in a little oil with a pinch of sea salt on medium heat  for 4 minutes until almost tender then add the garlic,  mushroom and red pepper flakes, saute two more minutes, when done add it to the quinoa, followed by the chopped  pistachio, diced mango, lime juice, cayenne and salt, cinnamon and nutmeg if using. Taste for seasoning.

3. Slice the top of the pepper and pull out the seeds and membrane.  With a spoon stuff the peppers, from one end to the other.  Place the stuffed peppers on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven 

4. Plating: Top with creamy cilantro lime dressing, guacamole and additional chopped cilantro

Creamy Lime and Cilantro Sauce
½ cup water
½ cup cashew
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp noma shoyu or salt to taste
3-4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime-juice
1/8 tsp cayenne
½ garlic clove minced or more if you like - optional
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
handful of cilantro  - stems removed

Instruction for Sauce
Add all ingredients, except for the cilantro, to a high - powered blender and mix until creamy. Once creamy add the cilantro and mix again.

Below is an update to the recipe and photo
I made these again last and slit the top then stuffed them. I liked this better and was able to fill with more quinoa stuffing. after step 1 above, let cool and slit the top, fill then bake for another 20 minutes
I also added a bit of cinnamon and fresh nutmeg which I loved and used pistachio instead of the walnut.
Chopped shiitake mushrooms optional but great - add to onions 2 minutes after saute'.
top with guacamole!

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