I have spent the past week thinking about my cooking preferences, rituals, and style in an attempt to bring you a recipe that reflects me as a person. After struggling to narrow it down to one dish, I decided to gather valuable information from my loved ones to get a better idea of how others perceive me and my cooking. It began with one simple question: “If I were a dish, what would I be?”
I first asked my Grandmother and she immediately answered “I think you would be Quinoa or rice.” I laughed at first because I didn’t realize that I was so bland! She said that when I was 11 years old, I went to her house to cook with her. We decided to make rice so I began looking around her kitchen for her rice cooker. When she told me she didn’t have one I replied in my snarky, 11 year old voice, “no wonder why your rice always tastes so funky.” After hearing this story, and taking a moment to laugh appreciatively at my 11 year old wisdom, then I apologized and told her that her rice is perfect, just like her.
Next, I asked my roomie to get her insight. She concurred that Quinoa is representative if my cooking style but quickly added that I could also be a skillet full of vegetables. This actually made a lot of sense to me because I love to cook food that is healthy and nutritious, but also vibrant, fresh and full of vegetables.
Finally, I asked the boyfriend who declared I was tofu stir fry or quinoa. I found this quite funny, because when Ian and I first started dating, I was on a tofu stir fry kick and had it on my weekly menu for over half a year. It was fresh, healthy and quick to cook but still tired of eating it to this day. Perhaps I’ll share that recipe with you guys on a Meat free Monday in the near future.
So I guess at the end of the day, I am Quinoa and vegetables– which is perfect because both of these ingredients are so versatile. One of my favorite meals that I love to cook on a regular basis and includes both of these ingredients is stuffed bell peppers. The great thing about stuffed peppers is that they can be as simple or as intricate as you like. I have made them on several different occasions and no two stuffed peppers have ever been the same. Since I’m from San Diego, I decided to make a Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Pepper for you guys this week.
I hope that you all enjoy!
My suggestion to you is to think about your own cooking, style, and preferences and ask your loved ones what dish reflects you. Then, cook it to the best of your ability and share it with someone you love and appreciate.
1 Tbsp oil
½ Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Cup Quinoa
1 (10 oz) Can of diced Tomatoes and Chilies (water drained)
1 Tsp Taco Seasoning
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1.5 Cups Chicken or Vegetable broth
Dash of salt and pepper
Turkey and Vegetable filling:
2 Tbsp oil
½ Red Onion, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 Large red bell pepper (I used 4 mini sweet peppers)
1 Pound extra-lean Ground Turkey (You can also use vegetarian sausage, ground chicken, or ground beef)
2 Tsp Taco Seasoning
1 Ear of Corn (shaved off the cob)
½ Container of mushrooms
A splash of lime juice
4 Large Bell Peppers
I can of Black Beans
Pepper Jack Cheese
Begin by cooking the Quinoa: In a medium pot, add oil and sauté the onion until tender, approximately 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in remaining ingredients for the Quinoa recipe and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to low heat.
Cook the quinoa until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, approximately 15-18 minutes. You can add cilantro or fresh tomatoes to garnish and serve.
In a large skillet, sauté the peppers and onion in oil until partially cooked, approximately 4 minutes. Stir in ground Turkey and 2 tsp Taco Seasoning and sauté 3-5 minutes, until mostly cooked. Add corn, mushrooms and garlic and sauté 1 additional minute until tender.
Once finished, combine the Quinoa, Turkey Mix, Black Beans, and pepper jack cheese (cut into small squares). Coat the peppers in oil and stuff them to maximum capacity.
Place in oven at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes.
Serve with any of the following toppings: green onion, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, or my personal favorite, more cheese!