I forgot to cook the tops, so in the photo below the top is brighter orange and the stem is still very green. I wasn't sure how the peppers would hold up during baking, but other than the mixture leaking through the face a little bit, the peppers were still very presentable.
I'm not sure why I cut the tops the way I did, it's definitely not the way I'd cut a top when carving a pumpkin. The next time I make these, I plan to cut them the way they are shown on this Food and Photography blog.
It didn't take me nearly as long to cut the jack o' peppers as I thought it would. Using a small Pampered Chef paring knife, I was able to cut the faces quite quickly.
The photo below got some laughs on Facebook today. I packed the black bean and quinoa mixture in too tightly for the pepper on the far right, which led to a puking effect.
I really like this stuffed peppers recipe, in fact this is one of the meatless recipes that "Chris the carnivore" loves too. When presentation doesn't matter, I prefer to make a deconstructed version, chopping the peppers up and baking in ramekins, which shortens the bake time.
It felt wrong to slice into the jack o' peppers, but they were delicious!
Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Jack o' Peppers
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients (5 servings)
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 5 large (10oz each) orange bell peppers
- 1/4 cup co-jack cheese, shredded
- In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1 1/4 cups water into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Cut tops off the peppers, then remove seeds and membranes. Next, using a paring knife, cut a jack o' lantern face.
- In a large bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth. Then stir in remaining ingredients (including the quinoa) except the shredded cheese. Fill each pepper to the top with quinoa mixture (do not pack it in or it will leak out of the face).
- Sprinkle cheese on each pepper, then place in prepared pan, along with the pepper tops (in the water). Bake for 35 minutes, adding water to the pan if necessary. Serve immediately, as they cool quickly.
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