A 3-day weekend and I still don’t know where it went! How oh how does that happen? It was well spent at the very least. Friday was spent running all sorts of errands and also making a Mexi medley dinner for some guests who watched our dog over 4th of July (thanks Kristy and Bill!).
On the menu: cornbread muffins with roasted chilies, red quinoa with black beans, and green peppers stuffed with turkey burger. A fantastic feast if I do say so myself Check out these fixings (a few items do not appear):
Yes, I used a cornbread mix for my muffins only because we have had this TJs box mix sitting in our cupboard since before Thanksgiving of last year. I decided to spice them up with a can of green chilis (also from TJs). Into the final mixture went about 3/4 of the small can pictured above. The muffins were baked sans paper holders, relying more on a wee bit of PAM in the muffin tin. Would you believe that this guy also thought they were delish?
I had made these little guys and put them on our dining table with a cloth napkin draped over the top. The next thing I know, Neci is on top of the table (big No-No) and eating something. He had snuck out a whole muffin top and was happily chomping away. Needless to say, I did not serve that one particular muffin
Now onto the quinoa salad. No recipe here, just mixed together what would taste good. I cooked 1 cup red quinoa as specified. While the quinoa was cooking, I rinsed the black beans (no gas here ), chopped a small white onion, and chopped up cilantro to make approximately 1/2 cup. After the quinoa came to a boil and simmered for about 13 minutes, I threw in the black beans and onions, just to soften them a little, while the pot remained on the stovetop (at low heat). After another 5 minutes or so, I transferred the quinoa mixture from the pot to a serving bowl and stirred in the quinoa. Of course a lot of black ground peppa was added. This already had great flavor so I was hesitant to add anything else. In the end, I added about 1/2 cup salsa verde for some extra POW I prepared the quinoa salad about 3 hours ahead of time and just let it sit at room temperature, which really helped the flavors marinate. If you’re curious, red quinoa remains a little heartier throughout the cooking process and seems to have a slightly nuttier taste than the white quinoa.
Now onto the stuffed peppers…First, I sliced up a large red onion and tossed it into 1 lb lean ground turkey breast, which I browned on the stove. Once it was nice and browned (about 12 minutes on medium heat), I added a can of diced tomatoes to keep the meat moist. Now simply, set aside.
I bought 4 green peppers that were squatter and round for easier filling. After slicing them in half and removing the ‘guts’, I placed them open side down on a tinfoil-lined cookie sheet. After a light spray of PAM (helps them brown up a bit), I stuck them in the oven at 400 deg for 15 minutes. I then removed them from the oven and turned over each of the peppers dividing the meat mixture amongst the 8 pepper ‘cups’. Next, sprinkle with a light Mexi-style shredded cheese and place back in the oven at 400 deg for another 10 minutes or so. You’ll want your cheese to be nice and melted and just starting to bubble a bit.
Add a few bottles of vino, plenty of chips and salsa, you’re ready to settle down to this:
You can also keep the peppers whole, but I find it’s harder to control the cook time and, though they look pretty when you serve them, they are much harder to cut and eat. Just my two cents
There are so many options for stuffed peppers — for a veggie version, simply use your quinoa salad as the stuffing!