I have a confession to make.
Against all odds. Against all of my wishes and convictions and my sense of what is good and right in this world.
I have become someone who texts before dating.
(Please don’t be mad.)
It just sort of…happens.
One minute you think you’re just going to be coordinating the whens and wheres and whats of your first date.
(Which is fine. You can so totally be okay with that.)
Then your first date is postponed because of a little something I like to call the natural-disaster-that-wasn’t (at least not in Manhattan).
And then all of a sudden you’re two weeks in and texting each other about what you ate for dinner.
I know. Gross.
The bad news is…you’ve become one of those people.
The good news is…you can tell a lot about someone from how they respond when you say you made peppers stuffed with quinoa, corn and feta cheese.
(I am female, therefore I over-analyze. Hear me roar.)
If they text back “veggies = yuck”. Then you know you should never respond to them again. (You don’t want to date your father. No matter how much Oedipus tries to get under your skin and into your neurons.)
If they text back “Quin-what?” Then you should proceed with caution. Wear a hard hat on your first date. Or a really strong helmet. Or a body condom.
If they text back “wow that sounds delicious!”.
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just do us all a favor and go on a first date with them tonight. Mmkay?
The air reeks of promise and potential today.
Or maybe that’s the smell of peppers roasting away in your oven.
Same difference? I think so.
These weren’t the recipe I was going to share this morning but after falling in love with them last night, I couldn’t wait a minute longer, especially now that it’s almost September and summer veggies are going to be gone before we know it. And, well. You need to make these before then.
The sweet corn and roasted peppers taste so good against the tangy salty creamy feta. And knowing that with each bite, you’re ingesting some whole grain goodness to boot? Totally restores your moral fiber after all that texting. I swear it.
Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn, and Feta Cheese
Serves 4-5, adapted from Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup quinoa (or in my case 3/4 cup quinoa and 1/4 cup bulgur)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of scallions, including 2 inches of the greens, thinly sliced
- 2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 ears worth of corn kernels (about 2 cups)
- 1 bunch spinach, leaves only
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 lb feta cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2 large red onions, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup veggie broth or white wine
- 4 peppers
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt, then the quinoa. Give it a stir, then cover and simmer over low heat until the grains are tender and reveal their spiraled germ, about 15 minutes.
- Warm half the oil in a wide skillet. Add the scallions and chiles. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, corn, and spinach, along with 2 tbsp water. When the spinach is wilted, add the cilantro, quinoa, and feta and remove from heat. Toss everything together. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
- Heat a tbsp of oil in a wide skillet. When hot, add the onions and saute, stirring frequently, until they start to color around the edges, after several minutes. Pour in the broth or wine and deglaze the pan, giving the onions a stir as you do. Season with salt and pepper and distribute in a baking dish large enough to hold the peppers.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthwise. Cut out the membranes and seeds. Simmer in salted water until tender to the touch of a knife but not overly soft, 4-5 minutes. Remove. Fill them with quinoa mix and set them in the baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 400. Bake the peppers until heated through, 20 to 30 minutes, then switch the heat to broil and brown the tops. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.