Mexican Spiced Black Bean and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Hi Friends! It's been a while. But I'm about to make it up to you. 

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind and I anticipate the next few weeks will be just as much of one. 

Here is a quick update on what I've been up to. 

I was recently in Aspen, Colorado celebrating my dad's 60th birthday.  It was a week of good skiing, great food, and lots of laughs. Side note: my dad got a selfie stick...how cool is he?

Since I've been back, I've been working on the final details of my sister's bachelorette weekend and also for our upcoming trip to Italy (!!!). Throw in a busy work schedule, yoga practice, and finding time for a few dates with friends and the hubby, and I've been left with little time to cook or blog. 

I have two exciting recipes for you this week to make up for it. They totally fit the theme of my life lately, they are quick to put together and you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. I just saved you a trip to the grocery store. See, I told you I'd make up for it!

These stuffed peppers are super healthy, super easy, and super tasty. They are made almost completely from pantry staples. The only ingredient you might need a trip to the store for is the peppers. If you're really in a pinch for time, you can skip the peppers all together and just eat the filling as a main dish. This plant-based meal is packed with fiber and protein.

Fun fact: quinoa is actually a seed instead of a grain. 

Mexican Spiced Black Bean and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Makes enough filling to stuff 6 peppers 

Note: I only stuffed four peppers when I made these. I like to pack the leftover filling for a quick and easy lunch at work. 

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños, minced (optional)

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes plus 1/2 cup juice

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup frozen corn

4-6 bell peppers, tops sliced off an inside deveined and seeded

1/2 cup broth or water

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. 

2. Add oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and jalapeño (if using). Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add quinoa, tomatoes, and tomato juice. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in black beans and corn. Cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. 

3. Place peppers in a baking dish. Divide mixture evenly between peppers. Pour 1/2 cup of broth or liquid into the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil. Bake until peppers are tender, 35-45 minutes. If using cheese, uncover, sprinkle tops of peppers with cheese and place under the broiler until cheese has melted. Serve with guacamole and salsa.