Black Bean & Veggie Stuffed Poblano Peppers over Cilantro-Lime Quinoa

Becoming a vegetarian forced me to be more creative in the kitchen because most of my go-to recipes were “meat-centric”.   I created this recipe a couple of years ago after smelling the roasting poblanos outside of the grocery store– goodness, that is a wonderful smell!  I love the smokiness of the roasted peppers. The filling is a mix of veggies I had on hand as well as black beans.  I added cottage cheese to bring cheesy creaminess to the recipe without adding much fat.  Along with the black beans and quinoa, the cottage cheese also ensures that this dish contains plenty of protein.

The peppers turned out wonderfully and, served atop cilantro-lime quinoa, the presentation is fancy enough for company or date night, while still being “unfussy”.  Make this a complete meal by serving it with a light soup, salad or even the cumin-lime roasted carrots from the last post.

These peppers were featured on www.meatlessmonday.com

Black Bean & Veggie Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 3 poblano peppers (pastilla peppers also work well)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn, cut from the cob OR 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced thin (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the broiler of your oven.  Place the poblanos on a cookie sheet and broil, turning every 4-5 minutes, until the peppers have blackened on all sides.

Transfer the blackened peppers to a mixing bowl, cover with a cover or plastic wrap and let the peppers steam in the bowl for at least 10 minutes to loosen the skin.

Meanwhile, gather and prepare all the vegetables. Also, rinse the quinoa and cook just as you would cook rice (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa).  when it is done cooking, cover and set aside.

Place the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms and jalapeno and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the cumin, salt and chili powder and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until spices are fragrant.

Add the zucchini, bell peppers and corn to the skillet and continue cooking, stirring often, for another 7-8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

Remove cooked vegetables from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans and cottage cheese.

Add the mixed vegetables to the black bean mixture.  Add half of the chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste and stir until well combined.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking dish with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray or tin foil.

Remove the blackened poblanos from the plastic wrap covered bowl. Gently rub the blackened skins off with your hands or a towel. Cut a slit in the pepper from stem to the point and remove the seeds and membranes.

Fill the peppers with the mushroom-corn-black bean mixture and place the stuffed peppers in the prepared baking dish. Top each pepper with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the black bean filling is heated through.

While the peppers are baking, toss the cooked quinoa with the lime juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro.

Place a serving of quinoa in the center of each plate and top with a stuffed poblano and sliced avocado.

Enjoy!

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