The new column on the block: Meatless Sunday

Here’s a new concept we began putting into practice last week: “meatless Sundays.” We wanted to do meatless Mondays, but unfortunately I have school that night and that means there’s a lot less time for food prep than we would have on a normal night. Sunday was the logical replacement. Last week was spinach pie and cheesy biscuits, but there was a little short circuit with the biscuits, which didn’t come out exactly right because we used gluten-free Bisquick™ instead of the normal kind. The buiscuits tasted good anyway, but we decided to go with the normal stuff next time, since I appear not to be gluten-sensitive. The spinach pie, which I thought was fantabulous – if not just a tad flavorless – was not Karisa’s favorite. We’re learning as we go!

Tonight’s fare was something more savory and more universally acceptable: quinoa-stuffed peppers. Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is a weird type of grain called a “pseudocereal.” That means it’s not a grain technically, because it’s not a type of grass. Whatever, right? But it’s really a seed that’s related to bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica.

Um . . . I mean, beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

Weird, right? We got it for $3.99/lb in the bulk hopper at Cashwise, and we only used a cup of it for the recipe, which I’ll share with you at the end of the article. So, you cook it like rice, and it puffs like rice. The hulls fall off and curl into these little white things that look somewhat suspicious . . . but that’s okay, it’s part of the food. The Incas considered quinoa to be the mother of all grains and more important than corn; vegetarians have picked up on this because it turns out that quinoa sports a high protein content (12-18%), and it’s a complete protein, which is hard to find in any protein source that isn’t made in a lab (for those who don’t know, a complete protein contains all the amino acids that our bodies can’t make for itself.)

One other complete protein that I’m aware of is hemp. (crickets)

I’m getting this information from Wikipedia right now. That’s right, I’m a cheater; nobody’s grading me on my blog, hello?? I might try some quinoa for breakfast later this week, with some honey and flash-frozen fruit. I think that would be really tasty and a good breakfast to run on.

At any rate, Karisa rated this herself as a “4.5, possibly 5” out of 5. That’s pretty darn good, and I got the go-ahead to make it again in the future. Knowing Karisa (she of the wandering palate) it will be a while before I can make it again, but now I know it’s possible to make a meal without meat to satisfy the carnivores in both of us. Here’s a picture of the finished result:

And it tastes even better than it looks! I put a spoonful of salsa on top of a couple of mine, and that was good too. I had baked the leftover filling (the recipe calls for medium green peppers, but just get big ones if you do it,) in a pyrex dish with cheddar cheese on top, and then we put that over Xochitl brand tortilla chips and salsa to make a side dish. Yum!

Here’s a link to download the recipe:
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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