Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Stuffed Quinoa and Sausage Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

By now, we’re familiar with amaranth, millet, barley, or quinoa—to name a few. Each wholegrain is welcomed with curiosity and questions: What’s the history, where’s it from, and how is it cooked? Similar to rice, they’re mostly mild with a nutty, wholesome taste. Most whole grain recipes are served cold or room temperature as a vegetable salad or pilaf. They’re often used in breads and cereals, too.

Stuffed Quinoa and Sausage Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

In this recipe, quinoa is mixed with sausage to create a savory and healthy stuffing for cubanelle or poblano peppers roasted in the oven. The stuffed peppers are served with a sweet Tomato Peanut Sauce. The sausage is a simple and flavorful addition to quinoa’s mild nutty flavor. The Tomato Peanut sauce is adapted from Marcus Samuelsson’s The Soul of a New Cuisine cookbook. Such a recipe promotes quinoa from a dainty side dish or salad into a main course.

Wholegrains are thousands of years old, and they’re the lifeline to many cultures around the globe. Their miniature size amazes scientists and nutritionists for their abundant nutritional value. As modern appetites welcome these ancient and mighty grains (quinoa is actually a seed) back into our diets, we’re learning they’re not dainty ingredients for a dish only served cold.

Stuffed Quinoa and Sausage Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Stuffed Quinoa and Sausage Peppers with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • Coconut or olive oil; as needed
  • 1 cup of quinoa (white or red, in the photos, both were mixed)
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion; diced
  • 1 jalapeno; diced
  • 1-inch fresh ginger; diced
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • (Optional) A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. uncooked sausage; casting remove (use minimally processed, antibiotic and hormone-free chicken, turkey or pork)*
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley; minced
  • 6 to 8 cubanelle or poblano peppers; cut vertically in half, remove seeds
  • Tomato Peanut Sauce (Recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa as directed by manufacture (Hint: use 1-1/2 cups of water instead of the recommended 2 cups for defined grains). Season water with 1 tbsp. of coconut oil, bay leaf, sea salt and fresh black pepper. After the quinoa is finished cooking, discard the bay leaf and place aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, jalapeno and ginger. After 2 to 4 minutes or when the onions are translucent, add the garlic. Stir for a few seconds. Add the sausage. Continue stirring and breaking up large pieces until the sausage is done. Turn off the heat and mix in the cooked quinoa and parsley.
  4. Spoon quinoa and sausage mix into each cubanelle or poblano pepper half. Place on baking sheet. Top each with a tiny amount of coconut oil.
  5. Place baking sheet in the oven. Bake for for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
  6. Serve with Tomato Peanut Sauce.

*Vegans use finely diced faux sausage, nuts and/or root vegetables.

Tomato Peanut Sauce

Recipe adapted from “The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa,” by Marcus Samuelsson

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 oz. grape tomatoes; cut in half
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
  • A generous drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion; diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers; seeds discarded and diced
  • 2-inch ginger; finely diced
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 28 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup parsley; chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 300° F. In a bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, sugar, sea salt, fresh black pepper, olive oil and thyme leaves. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tomatoes start to wrinkle. Place aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, jalapeno and ginger. When the onions are translucent, add garlic. Stir for a few seconds. Add peanuts, chopped tomatoes and half of the parsley. Heat until the sauce is simmering. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Working in batches, puree sauce in a food processor or a blender. Return the sauce to the pan and reheat to a simmer. Add the roast cherry tomatoes, the last half of the parsley and the lime juice to the sauce. Adjust seasoning.
  4. Use with Stuffed Qunioa and Sausage Peppers or with pasta.
  5. Enjoy.


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