A colorful plate of food usually means it’s a nutritional one and such is the case with this dish. Bell peppers are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world. Beautifully shaped glossy exterior with a wide array of vivid colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. Red peppers are high in vitamin C, vitamin A and are an excellent source of vitamin B6. If you are prone to migraines, try adding quinoa to your diet. Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines. It’s also good for cardio health. The natives of South America, called quinoa “the gold of the Incas,” and recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors.
adapted from Whole Foods
1/4 pound baby spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews
Preheat oven to 180c (350f). Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches, if needed). Let spinach wilt then stir in cinnamon, cumin and cooked quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper and cashews and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until just warm.
Divide quinoa mixture evenly among the bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan. Cover snugly with foil and bake, checking halfway through, until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hour. Transfer to plates and serve.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: So pretty who could resist eating this? Enjoy!