For today’s Oahu Fresh recipe, I revamped one of my absolute favorites from the archives and made it extra fancy. To make our vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers I used my recipe for Quinoa Pilaf, and added a new recipe for a cheesy Macadamia nut sauce to make this extra awesome recipe.
If stuffed peppers feels like too much work or time, simply chop the peppers up and add to the pilaf mix! Also, this recipe makes a lot of quinoa pilaf, so if you’re not serving many people, you can either halve the recipe or just eat a lot of leftovers!
Vegan Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
4-6 bell peppers, any color
1½ cups quinoa (any color or mixed)
3½ cups water
1 cup finely diced winter squash (kabocha or butternut)
½ cup chopped red onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped kale or spinach (add more if you like!)
½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (add more if you like!)
1 cup prepared black beans
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
Cheesy Macadamia Nut Sauce
1 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked 1 hour or overnight (can substitute raw cashews or sunflower seeds)
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
Juice of 1 lime (more to taste)
Scant 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Wash the bell peppers well. Slice in half down the middle, making two even halves, leaving stems on if possible. Remove any seeds or bits of core from the inside of the pepper.
- Layer evenly into a baking dish. An 8×8 baking dish fits 4-5 halves, and a 9×13 would fit about 10 (probably). Set aside.
- To make the quinoa: Add quinoa, water, squash, onion, olive oil, spices, and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- If using kale, add to saucepan at 15-minute mark to let the kale cook.
- If using spinach, simply add to a large bowl, and pour hot quinoa atop–the residual heat will wilt the spinach.
- When quinoa is finished cooking, turn out into a large bowl. Stir in beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and corn. Taste, and add more salt as needed.
- Divide quinoa mixture among pepper halves, mounding slightly, and packing gently to fill them up.
- Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. At 20-minutes the peppers will retain a bit of crunch. To make them softer, cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- To make the Macadamia Nut Sauce: Drain and rinse soaked nuts, and add to blender with other ingredients plus 2 Tablespoons of water. Blend until smooth, adding 1-2 more Tablespoons of water as needed for a smooth, pourable texture.
- Do your best to drizzle over the peppers, and serve. If you watch the video, you’ll see me make a totally laughable mess of my cheesy drizzle! It’s ok–still tasted GREAT! :)
Makes about 8 cups of Quinoa Pilaf, and total yield depends on how many peppers you use