SUNDAY BEST

quinoa and lentilsWe’re changing into our little chef costumes today (hey! it’s almost Halloween so it’s allowed right?)! That’s right, today’s edition of Sunday Best is all about those yummy rich fall flavors, and of course some great cooking websites and links to share with all of you.   Not only that, but I’m sharing a delicious recipe I made two days ago that I think you might love. We’ve been having the leftovers since then and I’m sad to say it’s all gone now. I’m talking about my lentil and quinoa stuffed peppers (stick around for the recipe and photos). I’ve been in a big cooking mood these days trying out some new dishes and combinations. Today I made some yummy seared turkey with scallions and mushroom sauce, some of the delicious filling that was left over from the peppers, some grilled veggies, and some of my magical green juice. This may sound crazy but today it had kale, lettuce, parsley, radishes, celery, ginger, kiwi and apple. Sounds disgusting but trust me when I tell you it’s delicious! Tonight I’m planning on making another veggie meal with a pumpkin and ricotta casserole and some eggplant parmesan. I told you I was in crazy cooking mode!

Speaking of delicious recipes, I’d love to share a couple of sites with you today. Trotski and Ash have a beautiful blog about cooking with yummy recipes like apple and ricotta torte, and lavender almond cake, not to mention savory all time favorites like fish tacos and macaroni and cheese. Their website is so simple and yet it feels like home which is why I love it. They are just a couple of amateur cooks with a love for cooking.

I’ve also been visiting The Jewels of New York quite a bit recently. Their flavor combinations are so creative and special, and their photographs make you want to put your chef hat on. I’m dying to make their brussels sprouts and chestnut risotto.

Ok, on to my little experiment of this week…drumroll please… here are my lentil and quinoa stuffed peppers. Enjoy!

Lentil and quinoa stuffed peppers

quinoa and lentilsYou’ll need…

Medium sized bell peppers cut lengthwise in half (I love getting colorful so I chose green, red and yellow peppers).

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 bunch of fresh herbs chopped (I used cilantro and parsley)

1 ripe tomato chopped

Half and eggplant (with skin), chopped

1 cup of cooked quinoa (If you’ve never made quinoa before, it’s super simple, I’ll explain at the end).

Half a cup of cooked lentils (I used organic lentils that came pre cooked in a jar. If using jarred or canned, just wash and rinse before cooking).

Some grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese

Mexican salsa or sriracha sauce for garnish if you want an extra punch of flavor

I usually make my stuffed peppers by baking at the last stage of the cooking process when the peppers are already filled, but this time I pre roasted them a little bit with some olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven to speed things along and it was a huge time saver! Just take them out before they start to lose their shape so you can actually fill them.

The first step is to put the halved peppers in the oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil and let them roast for a bit while you prepare the filling. For the filling, heat a bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook for a bit, then add the rest of the vegetables and herbs and cook until tender. Add the lentils and some salt and pepper and a little more olive oil if you wish to add a bit more flavor. Then add the cooked quinoa, mix together and remove from the heat. Check the seasoning and add the cheese, mix the filling so that all of the ingredients are mixed together. Finally, take the peppers out of the oven, fill them up with your quinoa/lentil/veggie mix, sprinkle a bit more cheese on top and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.

I love to serve it with some mexican salsa on the side or sprinkled with some sriracha sauce to add an extra kick to it. A green salad with avocados and cilantro goes great with this dish as well. I hope you love it! Ask me as many questions as you’d like in the comments below. I love sharing my little kitchen adventures with you!

Is it your first time cooking quinoa?

Grab a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water, some salt and garlic powder and heat to a boil. In the meantime wash half a cup of quinoa and rinse. As soon as the water boils, add the quinoa and stir. Bring to a boil again and then cover and lower the heat. Cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes. If there’s still water when the time is up just continue to cook for a few more minutes, uncovered and raise the heat a bit if needed. I have never ever overcooked or undercooked quinoa, that’s how simple it is! It’s basically like cooking couscous, it just needs a little bit more time. After you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to make another grain again! It has a delicious nutty flavor, goes great as a side dish or as the main part of a vegetarian dish, not to mention on salads and even for breakfast! It’s one of those wonderfully healthy ‘super foods’ so you can eat to your heart’s content. How great is that?!

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