• Quinoa stuffed Poblano chilies

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    This is an easy and relatively quick dish to make. If the photo looks at all good to you, you’re going to love this combination of slightly-hot Poblano peppers, zesty tomato sauce and the quinoa filling. Very fresh taste.

    In addition to taste, this gluten-free dish looks amazing when plated and/or brought to the table for serving. The recipe makes two good sized peppers but the recipe can easily be doubled to serve four. I also like to use four small peppers (without doubling the recipe) and serve this as an appetizer.

    Pepper Ingredients:
    One 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes3 cloves garlic (minced)
    1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce)
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    ½ small red onion (diced)
    ½ small red bell pepper (diced)
    1 plum tomato (diced)
    1 cup cooked quinoa
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    2 large Poblano peppers
    ½ cup jack cheese (shredded)
    2 green onions (sliced – for garnish)

    Sauce Ingredients:
    1 large ripe avocado
    ½ cup Crema Mexicana
    ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    Add the whole tomatoes, garlic and chipotle to a blender and puree until smooth. Add to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook until for another 3 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and chili powder, cover, and remove from heat.

    Cut lengthwise openings in the Poblano peppers and carefully remove the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa mixture. Ladle about half of the tomato sauce into a 9×9-inch baking dish. Place the peppers in the dish and ladle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle the peppers with the cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the top and cook for another 5 minutes or until the peppers are very soft.

    While the peppers finish baking, prepare the avocado sauce. Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh into a food processor and add the crema, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

    Remove peppers from the oven and garnish with green onions. Serve with avocado sauce on the side.



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