Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 
A few weeks ago (I know, delayed posting huh?), hubs and I didn't really go grocery shopping.  I like to make a mission out of these weeks.  The ones where life gets too busy on the weekend, so the grocery store just doesn't happen.  Since we don't really eat frozen food or have a lot of pantry items (I love the challenge of shopping only from the outer aisles at the grocery store - thus meaning things have a shelf life), this can sometimes lead to a challenge. 

However, that particular week had a minor exception.  Our friends were out of town and asked us to pick up their CSA box for the week.  As many of you know, hubs and I participated in a Spring CSA and loved it.  We don't partake in the summer due to Farmers' Markets, but absolutely love when we have the opportunity to help a friend (and our stomachs) to the fresh CSA.  We knew one thing, we had some fresh veggies coming our way.  The question was, and usually is with CSA, what will those fresh veggies be?

Okay, let me just say, opening a CSA is like getting a Christmas present.  There is a lot of excitement I feel when I open the box.  It is almost like my personal mystery box (like Chopped or Masterchef) that I can develop the weekly menu from.  To my delight, we had some red peppers, basil, parsley, lettuce, leeks, beets and heirloom tomatoes. 

A quick peek into the fridge and I noticed we had some ground beef.  Huh...how did we not use that?  Oh right, hubs didn't end up using it when he made his fantastic red sauce last week.  A quick look in the pantry and I saw we had some quinoa left - just hanging out.  Well, it is about time I used that.  Wondering how it would work as a rice substitute for stuffed peppers, I decided to give it a try.

Quite simply, I sauteed garlic and onions before adding the ground beef.  Once that was cooked, I removed it and added the quinoa.  Sauteed that briefly, added some broth for my liquid and let it cook.  Once it was done, added the beef back into the mix and some fresh herbs.  I loaded the cleaned red peppers up with the mix and baked for about 30 minutes.  I had a little Parmesan left in the fridge, so I sprinkled that on top, let it broil, topped it with hubs red sauce and dug into the deliciousness.

It was a successful first meal of no groceries.  Plus, plenty of leftovers.  Next up, I had to think of what to do with all the extra quinoa and beef filling that I had...