Monday, July 26, 2010

Crostini and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

For my parent's anniversary they received a wonderful gift basket from a friend with lots of Italian food products. It came with a jar of mushroom bruschetta and ever since, my Mom and I have been thinking about eating it with some nice crusty bread. While we were at the store yesterday we picked up a whole-wheat french baguette. We had all that we needed.

Before we began I wanted to make sure I would like this mushroom bruschetta. It looked delicious but I had no idea what it would taste like. So I tasted a bit and wasn't a big fan. I love mushrooms but didn't enjoy this preserve at all. So this led to creating two different kinds of crostini since my Mom liked the mushroom brushcetta.

I sliced the baguette thinly. Normally when making crostini you would toast the slices first, and then top them, but I was a little impatient. I topped half of the fresh slices with the mushroom bruschetta, and half with thinly sliced tomato and jarred hot banana peppers. Then I sprinkled them all with a bit of Parmesan cheese. I set the oven to broil and they took about 5 minutes to toast. So simple and delicious!

I had my crostini with barbecued eggplant and zucchini that my Dad had made the day before. I am not quite sure how he does it, but this is the BEST way to eat eggplant and zucchini. I will make a post on that recipe in the future.

For dinner I got together with Jenna to make a recipe from Healthy Girl Cooking. We have been eying multiple recipes from this site, and finally got around to making something. We decided to make Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers, modified from

3 large bell peppers that stand up well
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup beans (any kind you like)
1 cup corn
1 tomato, chopped finely
10 basil leaves, chopped finely
parmesan cheese

Mix the quinoa, beans, corn, tomato and basil in a bowl. Cut off the tops of the peppers and cut out any seeds and white flesh.

Stuff pepper with as much filling as it can handle.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 3-5 minutes.

Boy were these guys filling. They are very nutritious as well. They were lacking in the flavour department though. I would not serve these to guests until making some adjustments with the flavour. We brainstormed some ideas to increase the delicious factor for these peppers and came up with a few ideas:

  • after filling the peppers half-way, add a layer of cottage or goat's cheese, before filling the rest with the stuffing, OR mix in the cheese with the stuffing.
  • add a bit of salt, simple as that.
  • add cumin or coriander; there are endless possibilities in the spice department here.
  • cooking the quinoa in flavoured broth or tomato juice, or mixing in some tomato paste after cooking.
Any other ideas for making these stuffed peppers spectacular?

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