I adore grains and legumes. But, I had to promise myself I would not purchase anything until I deplete the reserves from the pantry. And believe me, the grain drawer can barely close.  I have four different types of rice (a 10lb burlap bag of basmati,  bag of jasmine, arborio and purple), at least 5 various kinds of dry beans, including “tetovac” (plump, white bean grown in my cousin’s garden in Kosovo, cherished and saved for special Serbian occasions), couscus, green couscous, Israeli couscus, two kinds of lentils, barley and quinoa.

I am making stuffed peppers today Excellent, everybody says, that’s a Serbian staple comfort food! Well, no. It is going to be “fusion” again. I have unpronounceable “quinoa” at hand. Sub it for rice. I have some fine Mexican chorizo. Ok, substitute for ground beef. I have poblanos and red bell peppers (spicy for the adults, mild red for the kiddies). The recipe calls for chopped pistachios, but Husband is deathly allergic, and I still need him around, so walnuts it is. Minced onions and garlic are traditional. Mushrooms and swiss chard do not usually participate in stuffing the peppers, but we use them in Serbian kitchens, so I should be fine here. Hey, everything is put together with the addition of some crushed tomatoes! And, I had to add shredded cheese on top – Husband begging is a pretty pitiful sight.

This one delighted us all – not a peep was heard during dinner. And the baking dish was licked clean (I suspect Husband wanted to make Beasties’ job of washing dishes immeasurably easier). Thank you, Amy!

STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS (adapted from Cooking With Amy)


  • 3/4 cup whole grain quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 3 cups swiss chard leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 lb chorizo (optional)**
  • 2 poblano peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed*
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella or provolone (optional)***
  • 1 can (28 oz) canned tomatoes, crushed

*if everybody at the table can take the heat, use all poblanos; after all, they are not that bad!

**you can omit chorizo, in compliance with the original recipe, or you can add 1lb of chorizo, if you are going to stuff all the peppers with the chorizo mixture

***if you follow Great Lent, Eastern Orthodox Fast, or vegan diet, omit the cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine water and quinoa in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover; cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic, stirring frequently for 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in chard and let it wilt. Add cooked quinoa and walnuts, and season with salt and pepper. In another skillet heat chorizo until browned.

Divide the mixture in two, and add the chorizo to one half. Spoon non-chorizo mixture into bell peppers, and chorizo mixture in poblanos. peppers. Sprinkle with cheese. Add the tomatoes and liquid to a baking pan large enough to hold the peppers. Lay the peppers into the sauce and bake for about 30 minutes.

And you thought you were safe by posing for a photo?

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