Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stuffed: Southwestern Bell Peppers

So I'm feeling a bit like a stuffed turkey these days.  I find that even when my belly feels stretched tight, I'm sometimes hungry.  Right now, it's full of Greek food from one of my favorite lunch spots at work (not that I go out all that often, but when I do, it's here!).  But even better, guess who came for lunch?

I bet you're not ready for this.

My.  Mother.

Emailed me this morning, asking if I were free.  I almost fell out of my chair.

After the less-than-satisfying conversation I had with her the other day, and a lot of thinking and processing on my part, I sent her a very grown up (and short) email, saying that I was surprised that she didn't ask about my due date right away, and that I hoped that she might come have lunch with me some day to celebrate me making it this far into the pregnancy (yes, JeCathRe, I know I wasn't ready yet for people to be excited when I saw you last), that I'd like that.  She had written back that she'd love to, but was busy (important side note: my mother is retired, and not currently employed at anything besides going to the Y and watching the Food Network).  I sucked in my breath (and my knee-jerk "annoyed" response), writing back that I was sorry to hear she was so busy, that she should let me know when she was free, and mentioned that she was the first family member to know about our news.  I don't know what happened in between on her end of things, but all I know is that I got an email this morning, that my belly is now stuffed full of delicious Greek food, and I feel slightly more emotionally satisfied (not stuffed), even if my relationship with mother is not perfect, and she still isn't the person I'd want her to be.

I made these the other day when I was expecting peppers in our CSA share.  They're not Greek food, but they're vegetarian, and full of protein; you can make them, and feel stuffed, too.

Southwestern Bell Peppers
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 8-oz. pkg. mushrooms, stems removed and saved for another use and caps sliced very thin
1/2 of a poblano pepper, diced
2 t. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 – 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c. quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 c. grated carrot
1 1/2 c. grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers (as you can see, I used green and we lived), halved lengthwise, ribs removed

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and poblano pepper and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Stir in quinoa, carrots, and 1 3/4 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Combine quinoa and carrots with black beans, 1 cup of cheese, and the onion mixture from the first step, . Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 tablespoon of remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.
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  1. So happy to hear she figured out how to do the semi-right thing!

  2. I'm glad you were able to have lunch with her - and having lunch at your favourite spot meant that no matter what happened with the conversation you were going to enjoy the food at least. Smart strategy! The stuffed peppers look yummy, and I love the idea of using quinoa instead of rice. My husband actually likes quinoa; I had assumed he wouldn't, so I'm looking for new things to have it in.

  3. My husband would love these peppers!! Any ideas on what I could substitute for the quinoa? Rice maybe? My daughter reacts to quinoa, so I'd have to use something else.

    In regards to your mother, I am happy for you that things are looking brighter. I hope she sticks around as a very supportive person for you during this pregnancy.

  4. Jenn, I think you could definitely use rice ... brown rice would be healthiest, if your family eats it!
    TasIVFer, lucky you, to have a husband who likes quinoa!

  5. Wow, your stuffed peppers look many different flavors in sure makes a great meal :-)

  6. Man I wish I could keep peppers down. Hope your mom wises up soon.

  7. OMG, those peppers look amazing. I've been looking for a good recipe.

    Glad to hear things are a bit more settled with your mom.

    #28 ICLW

  8. congrats on your pregnancy! happy iclw!


  9. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is amazing to read!!!

    I just discovered your blog through ICLW, and I am thrilled that you are a success story! I don't have a number, yet, but I think that I should be assigned one soon...maybe?!?

    Oh, and your recipes look awesome! I, too am a food blogger!
    Looking forward to following your journey.

  10. Those look wonderful! Happy ICLW!


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