Quinoa’s profile as a healthy superfood has exploded in recent years, and for good reason. When we are deciding what to eat, and designing the recipes for our clients’ healthy dinners, each meal needs to be these two things to make the cut:
- Nutrient dense – this means that everything on the plate gives you the most bang for buck nutritionally. Looking to what you have to cut out of your diet is totally boring and uninspiring, but thinking about all the good stuff we can pack onto our plates is much more exciting.
- Delicious – food is something to look forward to every day, and is to be celebrated! We won’t eat something just becuase it’s good for us. We need to make it taste good too.
The reason that quinoa is bigger than Bieber is that, unlike other grains, it contains all the essential amino acids to make it a complete protein. That’s why quinoa is such a great choice for vegetarians. It’s an excellent carbohydrate choice as it’s low GI and will keep you fuller for longer. Quinoa is also fibre-rich and provides a host of minerals and B group vitamins.
Now for the delicious bit! These quinoa stuffed capsicums are so tasty and filling that you won’t miss the meat and they certainly stand alone as a complete meal. Give them a try and let us know what you think!
(By the way, if you’re struggling to find quinoa at your supermarket, you’ll find it in the health food sections at Coles and Woolworths rather than the rice/pasta/noodle aisle).
Quinoa stuffed capsicums (this recipe is adapted from one by Rachael Ray)
Ingredients (to serve 4)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 capsicums, a mix of colours, halved and seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
- ½ eggplant, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 100g feta
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Place quinoa and stock in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Place capsicum halves in a baking dish lined with baking paper, skin side up. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pop in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until capsicums are tender and the skins begin to char. Remove from the oven, then rearrange in the baking dish cut-side up, so you have capsicum “cups”.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pain over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, eggplant, zucchini and onion, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 10-12 minutes, until tender.
- Add the herbs and tomatoes to the eggplant mixture, and then combine with the quinoa.
- Fill the capsicum cups with the quinoa mixture. Crumble feta over the top and serve.