Recently, Jane and I have been discussing the essence of life. While that may sound a bit philosophical, and we do try sometimes, it really hasn’t been.
We’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. I think it has to do with the fact that our wedding is a little over a month away. This new chapter in our lives will really mean we have to act like “adults” now. At least a little, right? No? Good!
How does one really achieve a level of happiness? We think it starts from within and figuring out what you want to do in life. It’s about finding something you’re passionate about and doing that every day.
The above quote rings true. Ah, Julia Child, what couldn’t she do in the kitchen. She’s an inspiration for Jane and I. Here is a woman who fell in love with French cuisine and wanted to share it with the world. She didn’t let it stop her that she wasn’t French. She didn’t let it stop her that she was 6’ 2” (1.88 m). Okay, that point line doesn’t really make a difference, but did you know she was that tall? That’s a good fun fact for the day.
I guess what I’m saying is that if you want to get 100% out of live, it starts with you. It starts with finding out what YOU want and then doing that as much as you can. Heck, you never know, one day you may find yourself with the ability to do it as a career. However, even if it doesn’t get to that stage, you’ll be a lot happier for it. Everyone needs a passion outlet.
Geez, what’s the post turing into? Okay Okay, let’s turn to something equally as inspirational – food 🙂
Today’s recipe is: Meat and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers.
Here in the US, maybe elsewhere I’m not too sure, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) has really become a popular thing. You can find it everywhere and on everything. Most restaurants are now serving it and it’s the “cool” thing to do.
Quinoa kind of looks like couscous, but it’s not a pasta – it’s a grain. An edible seed actually and it’s pretty dang healthy for you, too. Another reason people like it is that it’s naturally gluten-free which is becoming a major food movement here as well. Gluten-free products are definitely here to stay.
The popularity of this seed has made it a little expensive, but it is worth it as a little goes a long way. For example, 1 cup uncooked equals about 4 cups cooked.
This was our first time incorporating them into a stuffed pepper so we weren’t 100% sure how it would turn out. We also were not sure if we could add them to the pan with the meat and let them cook that way, as we thought it might be too much. Maybe you can, we’re still not sure on this one.
The creamy texture of the goat cheese made this really pop. It could be because we’re big goat cheese lovers, but we’re pretty confident it seals the deal.
The flavors worked well and in the end you’re left with a tasty juicy stuffed pepper that’s kind of addicting, so make extra. They are perfect the following day for lunch as well.
Kenton & Jane
- 4-5 bell peppers, tops cut, and seeds removed and washed.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ cup quinoa + ½ cup water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- ½ cup chicken broth
- goat cheese
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place bell peppers in oven safe dish, drizzle with some olive oil and a little salt.
- Place in oven for 20-30 minutes, or until desired softness is achieved.*
- While peppers are baking, cook quinoa and meat mixture.
- Add quinoa to a pot and add ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
- For meat mixture, add some oil to a pan and heat over medium.
- Add in onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add meat and brown.
- Once brown, add: garlic, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, pine nuts, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
- Once everything is done, add quinoa to meat pan and mix well.
- Take the stuffing and spoon it into each bell pepper.
- Top with crumbled goat cheese.
- Place under broiler for a few minutes to warm and give the cheese a nice golden brown color (optional).
The Julia Child image is from etsy, but I couldn’t find the creator.