Last year, my “Fake-Out Shrimp Fried Rice” landed me a spot on the Dr Oz show. I made a fake fried rice dish using quinoa and shrimp along with lots of veggies. Since then I have incorporated quinoa into lots of our dinners.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a great ingredient to have in your diet. Technically it is considered a seed rather than a grain. It has lots of fiber, folate and magnesium along with other nutrients. It is easy to cook in advance and keep in your refrigerator. You can buy it already cooked in the frozen food department too. Just reheat it in your microwave and it’s ready to use.
Eating quinoa by itself is pretty plain and boring. It doesn’t have a ton of flavor and needs to be spiced up. I like to add it to things and putting it in poblano peppers is my new favorite way. This dish was a meal in itself. The night we ate it, I even skipped making a salad.
What’s your favorite way to eat quinoa?
- 4 medium size poblano peppers, seeded and split in half (long way)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 10 oz can diced tomatoes (I used Red Gold with chiles)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1½ cups low fat cheddar cheese, divided
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a large deep dish baking pan with half an inch of water. Lay the pepper halves in the pan and set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium and saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add quinoa and chicken to the pan, Stir well and cook until bubbly.
- Add 1 cup of the cheese (reserve ½ cup), cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Stuff the pepper halves with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Uncover the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
- While peppers are baking, mix together avocado, sour cream and chili powder.
- Serve the cooked peppers with the avocado cream and garnish with extra cilantro if desired.