Quinoa Stuffed Peppers with Walnut Basil Pesto!

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Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Well look no further! We have some raw vegan stuffed peppers for you!

These are stuffed with a quinoa salad, and if you are familiar with quinoa, you know you have to cook it. This is one of the few grains and vegetables that I do eat cooked, as quinoa is soooo good for you, full of iron, protein, magnesium, calcium, fiber and more! Plus, it tastes amazing in salads, as a side dish or just by itself as a sweet or savory snack! If you do make this recipe, however, there are a couple steps you have to do in preparation for the stuffed peppers, such as boiling the quinoa and marinating the mushrooms. So make sure you plan this accordingly and give yourself about 2 to 4 hours of prep time.

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Look at that gorgeous fresh perfection!

So without further ado…let us begin!

For the peppers, you can use any assortment of red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers. The amount I made will stuff at least ten, maybe 15 peppers, depending on size. I stuff way less because I eat the quinoa salad by itself as well. 🙂

Step 1:

For the preparation of the quinoa and walnut basil pesto, you will need:

– 4 cups quinoa, soaked for about an hour, then boiled with 8 cups water. You cooked quinoa the same way as rice, 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, then boil until the water has evaporated and little white sprouts appear. Simple!

Once the quinoa is cooked, set aside to cool.

As a side note, you can actually make less quinoa if you want, but I also use this as a great salad, so it’s perfect for leftovers to add to a salad for the next day, or to eat a side dish.

– Once you get the quinoa cooking, set aside:

–  1 1/2 cups of walnuts, soaked in water. This is for our walnut basil pesto later

Step 2:

For the leek and mushroom marinade, you will need:

– 2 cups sliced mushrooms – you can use crimini, shitake, whatever you prefer

– 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks

– 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped in half

– 1 thinly sliced garlic clove

– 1 tbsp hemp seeds

– 1 tbsp sesame seeds

– 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Chop the vegetables and add to a large bowl. Mix in the hemp seeds, sesame and nutritional yeast, then set aside to prepare the marinade.

In a small bowl mix in:

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– juice of 1 lemon

– 1 tsp tumeric

– 1 tsp fenugreek (optional)

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 1/2 tsp salt

Pour the mix over the veggies and mix together. Cover and set aside to marinate, at least 2 hours, preferably up to 4. After that time, your mixture should look something like this (and smell really delicious!):

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LOVELY!!

The juice from the tomatoes will soak into the olive oil, vinegar and lemon, making a great juicy marinade.

Step 3:

Now, time to prepare the rest of the quinoa stuffing.

In your huge bowl of quinoa, mix in:

– 3 grated carrots

– 1 handful parsley, thinly sliced

– 1 handful cilantro, thinly sliced

– juice of 1 lemon or lime

– 1 tsp paprika

– 1 tsp salt

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Beautiful colors!

After the parsley, carrots and cilantro are chopped and in the bowl, throw in the mushroom leek marinade, and mix. You should now have a beautifully colored quinoa salad:

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You can eat this plain as a full meal, or add to a salad, there are so many options of what you can do with this dish alone!

Step 4:

Now, for the walnut basil pesto. In your high-powered blender, throw in:

– Your 1 1/2 cups of soaked walnuts (drain the water out)

– 1 medium chopped zucchini

– 1 handful basil (or more if you prefer)

– 1 handful arugula

– 1 handful parsley

– 1 handful cilantro

– 1/2 cup pine nuts

– 1 clove garlic

– couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, stems removed

– couple sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed

– salt and pepper

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Put it in your high powered blender, and pulse/blend until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth, like so:

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We are now ready to begin stuffing!

Step 5:

Get your bell pepper assortment, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and insides to make as much room as you can for the stuffing:

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Start by spooning out the quinoa salad, and stuffing it into the peppers. Really pack it in there so you can get as much stuff in the pepper as you can. Let it overflow too, you want to have a large feast of raw stuffed peppers to eat!

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 ^Your peppers should look something like this ^

Once the peppers are stuffed, we will then spoon on the walnut basil pesto, and as a final touch, add a cilanto leaf and a half of a tiny cherry tomato:

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And that is it! Look how beautiful that stuffed pepper looks! And it tastes even better! Eat as many as you want, because you can and you should!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! I’m going to go finish my stuffed peppers now!

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The fresh, sweet crunchiness of the peppers combined with the lemony quinoa stuffing and the creamy basil pesto gives a fresh, tangy taste like never before! I didn’t even bother with a knife and fork…as you can see, I picked up the whole thing and ate it like a sandwich…yummm!!

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