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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

I am submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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100 Responses to Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn and Feta Cheese

  1. sofia says:

    dude. texting and dating is totes norm (yeah i just said that) for our generation. no shame.

    you rocked this stuffed pepper. enjoy the date!!

  2. this is like the essence of summer to me. Sweet peppers and yummy cheese and quinoa! Perfect!

  3. Seriously everything you make lately is especially amazing. I need to start cooking all of the meals you make.

    The text response gives definite hope for your first date!

  4. Danielle says:

    I love reading your posts – you always make me laugh! This recipe looks great I love finding new uses for quin – what?

  5. You are so cute… trust me, food compatibility is HUGE in a relationship. At least when you are like me (and you) when it is sucha big part of your life. Hope this one is a keeper. 🙂

    This recipe, though, definitely looks like a keeper! Just made a quinoa, corn and grilled pepper salad with lime but this baked version looks so scrumptious! 🙂

  6. That’s a good thing! You already have something (a big thing) in common. Fun 🙂

    The peppers look delicious!

  7. Claudie says:

    I love quinoa stuffed peppers, but had never tried it with corn and jalapenos. It looks like a very good idea though, so that’s what I’m going to do next time 🙂

    Btw: congrats on that text message 🙂

  8. girlichef says:

    Mmmm…I wish I could actually smell this roasting…I can only imagine! I think I’m glad that I stopped dating before texting was invented. It’s all so much… (says the old lady. yikes!)

  9. These stuffed peppers look awesome! Quinoa is always a fabulous addition. I just made a quinoa ratatouille!

    Best of luck on your date…keep us posted 😉

  10. Candace says:

    Sounds promising! I woke up with stuffed peppers on my mind this morning. It’s probably because I thought of those beautiful yellow peppers getting old in my fridge. My thoughts of stuffing them were not nearly as yummy sounding as these babies. Thank you for making my dinner plans much more interesting!!

  11. Shannon says:

    Love everything about these! Hope tonight is great! Want.update.stat.

  12. I’ve been trying to decide when and where I’m going to delve into the world of quinoa…this sounds like a good start! I’m so sad my garden is pretty much kaput, but I should have a few peppers in there somewhere!

  13. polwig says:

    Forget the first date if the answer was yum you should have just invited him to your place for a taste. You have roommates right? just casually drop on conversation that one is an ex football player. BTW debbie madison vegetarian book is one of them erin picked to cook from 😉

  14. Let’s just hope he really knew what quinoa was. He might have just googled it and then wanted to impress you. Either way, it looks REALLY good!

  15. There is definitely potential if he likes quinoa! Before we started dating, my fiance had never tried quinoa… or couscous… bulgur… or barley… and the list goes on.

    Luckily he requests some of these on a regular basis now. If only he felt the same way about veggies…

    I should try out this recipe… if it won’t change his mind, nothing will!

  16. Mouthwatering good. I am interested in this texting food idea, and wondering if I could apply it to my own life. Hmmm…

  17. I’ve been wanting to stuff everything lately. Tomatoes, peppers, squash of all shapes and sizes. The feta and corn sound great in this stuffing. I definitely have to include those once I get stuffing!

  18. Pam says:

    You better tell us how the date goes – it sounds like this guy has potential! I am loving every single thing about this dish. Flavorful, healthy, and delicious.

    Have fun tonight!

  19. Tasha says:

    I think that is a totally great system to feeling guys out before going on a date. Why waste your time with someone who isn’t going to appreciate your awesome cooking, right? Good luck on your date. And it goes with out saying that I love this recipe.

  20. Cate says:

    I love everything about this recipe. Can’t wait to make it soon! And yeah, if he knows what quinoa is, and you like vegetables, that’s definitely a good sign!

  21. Amy says:

    Don’t get down on any man for not being familiar with quinoa – up until a month ago, I had never eaten it either! This looks yummy. I make a similar stuffed pepper recipe w/ couscous and cannellini beans. Report back on your date – this is better than an episode of The Bachelorette 😉

  22. That Girl says:

    I’m obviously old. What’s the issue with texting before dating? Is it different than emailing?

  23. Looks so so yummy. I love both quinoa & have married both so beautifully. We usually stuff peppers with potatoes, this is definitely healthy and fun!

  24. Rachel says:

    Those are some power-packed peppers!
    My mother in law used to make stuffed peppers almost every time we visited because they were one of her small repertoire of vegetarian recipes. Hers were good but these look a thousand times better!

  25. Delish! I suck at stuffed peppers, they never cook right. Duh!

  26. Julie says:

    Delicious! Love the flavors and ingredients. Good luck with the date 🙂

  27. Absolutely love the idea and the stuffing 🙂

  28. Elizabeth says:

    The mix of textures sounds wonderful. I love feta with quinoa.

  29. I take it the answer to your text was “wow that sounds delicious”:)

  30. Pierce says:

    So….what happened? Did you get the correct answer? Salad looks good, as usual..yes, yes, yes……but lets hear about the date 🙂

  31. Kalyn says:

    Love the sound of the peppers and that sounds like a very smart use of texting to me!

  32. Shannon says:

    i found me one of those too 😉 have fun and please let me know how it goes!!

    and guess who else made stuffed peppers last week? 🙂 you’ll see them sometime… but these look a wee bit tastier!

  33. Oh wow, Joanne. This has to be the best stuffing for peppers I’ve seen in AGES! Fantastic!! 🙂

  34. patsy says:

    ok… gotta tell me about this guy who is so promising! 😉

    seriously, those peppers look fantastic! great way to enjoy the summer produce for a bit longer!

  35. This looks wonderful! As I was reading your post just now it occurred to me that you are my clean eating version of Joy the Baker. (nothing bad to say about Joy, I adore her blog)

    I enjoy your writing, you often make me grin and I am rarely tempted to hit the kitchen for a pound of chocolate after reading your posts. However, I AM tempted to break out the quinoa that I haven’t used in over a month. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Ok, and texting before a date is taboo? I suddenly feel OLD and I am NOT! I didn’t even own a phone to text on when I met my husband. I would be clueless now. Good grief, I just realized that Facebook and dating could be a scary combination as well. I think I’m glad that I dated before technology took over my life. 😉

  36. I love the filling. If I try stuffing it into a pepper, I’ll be looking for a date! So, I’m thinking about stuffing it into a green tomato instead. OMG so gud–is that texting lingo?


  37. Obviously this boy is a keeper. And so are these stuffed peppers

  38. Dana says:

    I’ve made that recipe! Back when I was a personal chef – my clients absolutely loved them. I personally just ate about my weight in the filling. I look forward to hearing about this guy! The true test, when you do meet him, is whether he pronounces quinoa correctly.

  39. megcjones says:

    he likes peppers, quinoa and feta cheese? sounds like a winner to me. this recipe sounds absolutely delicious – i’m definitely going to try this out this weekend. thanks for this, and enjoy the date!

  40. I’ve got a family bbq this weekend for Fathers Day and being on a diet, I want to take somethign healthy. Thanks Joanne 🙂

  41. Claudia says:

    That’s funny, texting to eliminate food losers. I told Bob last night that his dinner was a version of steak and potatoes, i.e. Coconut-crusted Tofu with fried potatoes.

  42. tigerfish says:

    I usually dice my bell peppers and roast them with other veggies, then toss all the diced veggies with quinoa. I like your other way of doing it 🙂

  43. Adore the recipe, and good luck with the date! I’ve had a boyfriend with exact opposite food habits and preference as me…it didn’t end well. Oppps.

  44. kyleen says:

    Beautiful pictures. I love anything that’s been stuffed in peppers/cucumbers/tomatoes etc. (:

  45. OohLookBel says:

    Wow, this is a brilliant recipe. Bring on date night!

  46. daphne says:

    awww. how did that date go? hhehee.. but lucky guy who gets to try something new AND delicious. Love this idea for sure!! And with some cheese, yum yum! romance in the making!

  47. elly says:

    So glad you posted these today because they sounded so awesome when you mentioned them on twitter! Love everything in these and I am a total sucker for feta and goat cheese with Mexican flavors and spice. Yum.

  48. Kim says:

    I’m laughing at Heather’s comment because I’m glad I stopped dating before texting too. I don’t even have texting on my phone. LOL! It does sound promising that he knows what quinoa is. I’m sure it’ll be a great date.

    I have a thing for veggie stuffed peppers. Can’t get enough of it. I also keep trying to like quinoa and I think I could handle it in this recipe. They look gorgeous!

  49. Reeni says:

    If he said this sounded delicious than he is definitely good dating material! These are gorgeous! Love the sweet roasted veggies with the salty feta.

  50. Simply Life says:

    you are so funny -I don’t know how you always come up with such clever posts AND delicious recipes!

  51. Megan says:

    My fiancé and I emailed before our first date. It’s a good thing we didn’t get into food too much besides picking out a restaurant to go to. If I had mentioned quinoa, we might never have made it to the first date!

    I kind of want to make this with tomatoes instead of peppers. Though I know the pepper version is amazing as is!

  52. Another fantastic quinoa recipe. Thanks for sharing Joanne.

  53. Deborah says:

    I’ve only been married going on 6 years, but it’s amazing how different dating is today!! These peppers sound absolutely delicious – I’ve been loving all of the end of summer veggies!!

  54. Cam says:

    sounds like i need to add quinoa to my shopping list.

  55. My favourite! Love the flavours in this dish!

  56. grace says:

    hey, at least you’re aware of the seriousness of your texting commitment. 🙂
    (incidentally, ‘texting’ is still identified as a misspelled word by my spellcheck!)(so is spellcheck!)

  57. Nicole, RD says:

    Quin-what? Ahh! Break him in!!

    I have never made stuffed peppers because rice doesn’t really tickle my fancy. But these…awesome! Can’t wait to try them!

  58. What a genius way to serve up quinoa. In little pepper boats….maybe that twist can help sell it to my kids 😉

  59. Anonymous says:

    I made this last night but put the stuffing mixture in Patty Pan squash.
    It was a huge hit. thanks.

  60. Haha. I think texting before a date can totally make it more exciting when you meet them. Or, it can hype them up because they’re a witty and cute texter, and they’re actually boring in real life. I hope that’s not the case for you! Make sure you give us a date update!!!

    These peppers look really good. I fresh take on the traditional stuffed pepper.

  61. Magnificent! A healthy and tasty dish which would definitely rejoice my palate.



  62. Rachana says:

    Good luck with the date 🙂 The Peppers look lovely!

  63. Fantastic dish, especially love the addition of cilantro and spinach. The photos are bursting with color and by extension flavors that explode through the screen…

  64. Lea Ann says:

    Just as long as you don’t text before sex. 🙂 This really looks good Joanne … one more reason to use that bag of quinoa in the pantry.

  65. Linda says:

    I’m so glad you posted this before the summer ending holiday weekend! Love quinoa and the combo of flavors sounds so delicious!

  66. Swathi says:

    I dated before the invention of texting. This stuffed peppers looks delicious.

  67. Beth says:

    I’m crossing my fingers for that first date. And your recipe looks amazing!

  68. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Life is getting back together now that Irene is gone! Well, I am glad to see all the delicious recipes I have missed. We ate pbj, sardines with onions more pbj….I think you get the idea!! Everything looks wonderful. Blessings, Catherine xo

  69. I’m sorry..body condom..ROFL,


  70. Allison says:

    I married mr. quin-what? He is a doll but, a veggie every once in awhile would not kill him.

  71. Juliana says:

    Joanne, this stuffed pepper is loaded of yummie things…love the corn and feta along with quinoa.
    Perfect meal. Hope you are having a fantastic week 🙂

  72. Claire says:

    Um…yum!!! I made some stuffed peppers last week with black beans, zucchini and squash filling. LOVE stuffed peppers. I saw that Near East has a quinoa “mix” now. Gonna have to find that and try it. Only had it in soup so far.

  73. So wait, you havn’t actually met the guy yet? This reminds me of my almost 17 y.o. son who is blaming me (for his lack of text on his phone) since he can’t possibly ask this girl out that he has a crush on because he can’t text her first. 😉
    I’m impressed, most guys (outside of the blogosphere) have not heard of quinoa.

  74. Quin-what? Just kidding, I LOVE quinoa! 🙂

    Camila Faria

  75. Nina says:

    Yum yum yum…love your post and your beautiful blog. Bookmarking this one:)

  76. Miriam says:

    I’ve been meaning to stuff some bell peppers with something!!!!! Great idea, with the quinoa! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  77. I’ve fallen in love with some of the Quinoa salads at Whole Foods. This one sounds wonderful with the peppers, corn, spinach and feta! I feel healthier just looking at it 🙂

  78. Carolyn Jung says:

    I don’t think my husband knew what the heck quinoa was until he met me. I still married him any way. LOL

  79. Kelly says:

    Oh, gorgeous looking stuffed peppers Joanne – love this warming idea for the onset of (dare I say it?) fall (eeks!)

  80. Natalie says:

    we ARE going to get updates on how this date went….RIGHT?!?!? 🙂 you know that’s why i read this blog 😉

  81. Kelsey says:

    that lovely mound of red onions is where it’s at girl! haha, they are my fav. you made such a gorgeous stuffing for the peppers…and the peppers are quite happy because of it 😉

    xoxo <3

  82. Sarah Caron says:

    Ok. Those totally sound seriously good. My mouth is watering, and my fridge full of corn and peppers calling. Dinner tomorrow, me thinks.

  83. Can’t wait to hear more details about Text Boy. By your weekend in the country, you’ll be in for a month or so, lots more details to spill. I was never a big texter before this year, but Mystic and I are crazy texters. You know, ’cause it’s impossible to have a conversation with five kids running around!

  84. A terrific idea to use quinoa for the stuffing, healthy and delicious!

  85. Ruth Daniels says:

    Sorry to hear the “almost” Hurricane Irene, kept you from a date… that said, lucky us that you got to share the quinoa!

  86. Kevin says:

    Now that is my kind of quinoa salad and I like that it is served in red peppers!

  87. newlywed says:

    I hope your date goes well! Sometimes you can just tell…even before a first date. These peppers look awesome. I can never get enough quinoa!

  88. Jeanette says:

    I just bought some Greek feta so I know what I’m going to make this weekend. Sounds like the texting might not be such a bad idea pre-date, puts your feelers out about what he eats – hey that’s important!

  89. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Back in the day (before I knew what texting was) I used to AIM with potential dates. That’s just about the same thing 🙂

    I think these stuffed peppers look great. I also love that you sliced them long ways. Instead of just inside. Sometimes I find that when they are too stuffed you can’t really enjoy everything together.

  90. Another fun post—you always make me smile. I am going to mark this one to make and remember to pull out Vegetarian Suppers again–this looks completely awesome. 😉

  91. Starla says:

    This looks delicious! I love peppers, so finding another way to eat them (other than raw in my lunch baggie) is awesome.

    I agree, food compatibility is important in finding someone. Food is such a huge part of our lives that if you are completely different it may make things challenging. However, when I met my fiance (only 28 days until I can call him hubby) he was very limited in his exposure to new veggies and foods, partially due to living with his very picky and bland taste bud sister. We’ve had fun over the past 3 years learning new foods and both learning to enjoy foods we previously stuck up our noses to.

  92. I’m a big fan of stuffed veggies – but I don’t think I have ever stuffed them with quinoa before. They do look wonderfully delicious!
    Looking forward to the quinoa-lover updates. 😉

  93. Helene says:

    I’m a big fan of quinoa. This looks so good!

  94. Chris says:

    You have pre-marital text? 😉

    Stuffed peppers rock.

  95. Susan says:

    And when you finally go out on that date, your question won’t be whether he will call again, but if he’ll text you about how you liked your dinner with him. 😉 If it’s as good as this, he’d better.

    Thanks, Joanne, for your great recipe and anecdote.

  96. Johanna GGG says:

    this is a recipe for us in the southern hemisphere who have summer just coming – will have to try this – looks delicious and just the thing to impress a young beau – I would wish you well but I have already seen your comment on the next post and like the sound of it

  97. Cara says:

    I’m so late, catching up… I hope that boy knows his tastebuds are in for quite the ride! And that he likes that sort of thing 🙂

  98. I don’t like Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone so I’ve been wary to get this cookbook but your gorgeous photos help convince me I must have it. This sounds amazing! Hope things went will with the guy. 🙂

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