Quinoa Fiesta

by HEAB on January 9, 2009

Did everyone survive their first full week back at work?  Anyone else get down in January?  Nashville’s weather usually stays pretty gloomy, and I struggle with the winter blues.  However, these past few days have been full of sunshine making me one happy camper.  This is why I can’t wait to move to sunny Colorado.  It’s cold, but they have sunshine most days of the year. 🙂

I went for an early morning trail run with my friend Amy.  She’s the one who got me into trail running several years ago and even talked me into doing a 50K race (31 miles), but that’s another post for another day.  We covered about 4 miles, and I couldn’t feel my fingers the first half of the run as the temp. was in the upper 20’s.  Brrrr, but it was sunny and beautiful.  I love a good run in the woods!  Amy spent the holidays with her boyfriend in Peru and brought me back a little surprise.

Sweets from Peru

Peruvian Candy

The perfect post-run treat.  Thank you Amy…and Carlos!

Caramel and pecans covered with a white nougat coating.  Yum!

Caramel and pecans dipped in a white nougat coating. Yum!

I had another somewhat crazy day.  My lunch consisted of the rest of the raw mac & cheese.  I swallowed it down while frantically trying to clean the house for yet another showing.  Send good thoughts our way as this was the second time this particular couple wanted to see our house.  Come on people…interest rates are at an all time low…buy our house…please?

After another afternoon playing at the dog park, I arrived home ready to start cooking.  I was flipping through The Whole Foods Market Cookbook and found a recipe for quinoa stuffed bell peppers, but totally changed it based on the ingredients I had.

I chopped about 1/2 red onion and a fistful of cilantro in my food processor.



After a few quick pulses…

I'm an awful chopper, but the food processor makes it so easy!

I'm an awful chopper, but the food processor makes it so easy!

I cut 3 bell peppers in half, sprayed them with cooking oil, topped them with salt and cayenne, and placed them in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  While the peppers softened up, I cooked 1 cup of quinoa on the stove-top.  When the quinoa was done, I placed it in a large bowl and added my chopped onion and cilantro, 1 can of black beans, 2 TBSP chopped jalapeno peppers, 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s shredded Mexican cheese, salt, pepper, and Mexican seasonings.

Ay Caramba!

Mexican Quinoa Delight...Ay Caramba!

I then stuffed my bell pepper halves with the quinoa salad, placed them in a greased casserole dish with 1/2 cup water, covered the dish with foil, and placed it in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

The finished product

The finished product

I ate mine atop a bed of wilted spinach sprinkled with Braggs.



I only ate one because I wanted to save a little room for something sweet. 🙂

And for dessert…drum-roll please…

No you didn't...Yes, I did.

No you didn't...Yes, I did.

I love eating the last few bites of almond butter straight from the jar.  Sometimes, I’ll throw in a warm Clif Zbar…Chocolate Brownie if you please and maybe some yogurt.  Yeah, that’s right, I mix it up right in the jar and scrape out every last bite with my spoon.  Seriously, does life get any better?


All gone. 🙁

Any big plans for the weekend?  I have to work tomorrow.  Not my favorite thing to do on a Saturday, but I’m grateful for the clients as it has been such a slooooow week in the world of massage therapy.  Night everyone!


Joe C January 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm

This recipe looks so good!
I have been looking for quinoa recipes due to the rather high protein levels in it and i just love stuffed peppers 🙂
Awesome idea…

eatingbender January 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I really like your idea with the end of the nut butter jars! I always look forward to the end but now I’m going to be even more excited with the thought of adding in a ZBAR!! YUM!

The quinoa and peppers looks amazing, Heather.

cherlynn01 January 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I’ve never met someone who loved almond butter sooooo much.

Emma January 11, 2009 at 7:57 am

I would never have thought to do rlthebpeppers like that but it’s a really good idea, looks delicious!

Marissa January 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

To say that the stuffed pepper is my perfectly delicious meal would be an understatement!! I am making this sometime VERY soon…maybe tomorrow – ha ha 🙂

I added you to my blog roll. I hope that’s ok!

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 11, 2009 at 8:00 am

Hey Marisss, enjoy the red pepper dish. I think it would have been even better with a splash of lime and maybe topped with some avocado slices! Thanks for adding me to your blogroll.

Erica January 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I HATE winter! I am loving this one though because a Charleston winter isn’t really winter! You will be so much happier in Colorado. I am SO keeping my fingers crossed for you on the house (again…totally feel for you). The quinoa looks fab

chriistina January 10, 2009 at 9:47 pm

i’m ringing into an empty jar too 🙁
warmed clif z-bar? maybe i’ll have to try that tonight!

Matt January 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

i have some quinoa in my pantry and this recipe inspired me to make it! maybe tomorrow night though, because i always eat pasta before a long run or race. just a ritual i guess.

oh, and i would love to hear about that 50k…

Erin January 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm

That’s a great idea with the jar! MY FAVORITE NUT BUTTER JAR IN THE WHOLE WORLD WOO HOO! I’m sorry you have to work today. 🙁
I really like the stuffed pep idea! I love Braggs too!

Raspberry Runner January 10, 2009 at 11:57 am

great idea with the peppers! i actually have some bell pepper i need to cook soon…

Missy (Missy Maintains) January 10, 2009 at 11:16 am

The peppers look great! You just made me crave some Almond Butter!!! I am of to go buy more at the market now!!!


misstiffie January 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

i love scraping the end of a nut butter jar/container too!!! sometimes i add some hemp or almond milk and cereal and swirl it in 😀 teehee…

the stuffed peppers look so tasty!!! makes me want a little mexican today now :]

and those candies!!! ahhh!!! i wanna try one!!! looks so good :]

polly January 10, 2009 at 9:36 am

YES girl, I loooove the last scrapings of almond butter. I usually use my finger and never leave TRACE of yumminess. That would be just WRONG. 😉 Have a fun weekend, despite having to work! You can tell that you love your work, so I am sure you are a blessing to every client, sweetie! XOXO

Jill January 10, 2009 at 8:41 am

2 showings to the same folks – good sign!! Yea!! But, also…boo that you’ll be leaving us. Seems like I’ve known you forever.

Well, you have once again inspired me. Every night this week, I replaced my Gin drink or ice cream with a spoon of Peanut butter and something mixed in. Gotta have dessert…and at least now, it’s good for me. Cannot wait to do the shopping at Costco and such today…after reading about it all week on your blog!

I promise I’ll come see you before you leave!!

Hangry Pants January 10, 2009 at 1:47 am

The stuffed peppers look great.

I thought I was the only one who loved almond oe peanut butter and yogurt! It’s a delicious combination, right?

Have some plans, but we’ll have to see if it snows here first!

sarahannmatheny January 10, 2009 at 12:47 am

You are scaring me, girl. Last night it was the pizza. Tonight, it was the almond butter jar. I am sitting here scraping out the bottom of the jar, enjoying every tasty bite. You’ll see it tomorrow. Crazy!!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 10, 2009 at 5:43 am

Hey Sarah,
What can I say my soul sista of almond butter lovin? You’ve got good taste! 🙂

gina (fitnessista) January 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm

i’m pretty sure life does NOT get any better than that!! the last bites of nut butter with a melted z-bar thrown in?? GENIUS
i love the stuffed peppers!!
hope you have a wonderful weekend 😀 thank you again for the almond butter.. i tried it today and it’s glorious

Gina January 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Those peppers look awesome!

I have no big weekend plans, just my fav yoga class tomorrow morning 🙂

Meghann January 9, 2009 at 10:07 pm

January is pretty depressing, did you know that January has the highest suicide rate? Not cool. Atleast we still have good food to look forward to.

larissa January 9, 2009 at 9:34 pm

mm delish fiesta!

FollowMyWeigh January 9, 2009 at 9:20 pm

thats how my pb jars look at the end too 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter January 10, 2009 at 5:40 am

Follow My Weigh,
So glad to know I’m not the only one who refuses to throw away even one speck of pb. 🙂
50K…31 trail race in the mountains of East TN…cold…raining…lost the trail…8 hours to finish…bad idea!

chocolatecoveredvegan January 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I love your idea to mix it all up in the jar! Must try!

VeggieGirl January 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Fabulous run, candy, and main meal!!

Hang in there with work tomorrow!!

Matt January 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm

the only real exciting thing i have planned for this weekend is my long run on sunday. i am hanging out with some friends tomorrow and going out to lunch but not a whole lot else. i’m just glad its the weekend!

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