Friday, December 27, 2013

Road Trippin': Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

As I alluded to in Tuesday's post, we spent Christmas Week with Thatboy's family.  I'm not going to lie - I was not looking forward to the roadtrip.  

I used to love roadtrips with Thatboy.  We would make a fun day of it - stopping for sightseeing and meals.  We spent the time singing to the radio and talking about everything going on in our lives.

Roadtrips are not as much fun with a small child.  Last year, our 6 hour trip took 12 hours.  We stopped just about every 2 hours so the little guy could get a clean diaper and some food.   When we went to Yosemite over the summer, he spent much of the time needing constant attention from those of us in the front seat.

This year our trip went surprisingly well.  We began by heading off what is always our first toddler tantrum - packing the car.  Thatbaby does not like Thatboy packing up the car.  He wants to go and help.  With that in mind, one of Thatbaby's Chanukah presents this year was his very own luggage!  Luggage that he could take out to the car himself!

We also stuck his constant companion in the backseat with him so he could have company.  Poor Thatdog.  It was not his ideal location.  I had to remove coloring books and magnadoodles from his back several times.  To be fair, at least now I wasn't the only one who was subject to Thatbaby's demand that there be no sleeping in the car.

We managed to make it up with only one stop, when Thatbaby started screaming that he had to get out of the car, and out of the car RIGHT NOW.  Which meant we took a fairly long and early lunch break. But we still managed to make it up to TBIL's house by 6:30pm for their annual Christmas Party. 

I was off cooking for the week, but I'm sure most of you aren't that lucky.  So I'll share with you one of the big hits from the days leading up to our trip.  Stuffed peppers aren't anything fancy, but anything with beans are very popular in my house.  This recipe is a bit of a twist because it uses quinoa instead of rice.  Really, any grain would work well with stuffed peppers - including barley or wheatberry, but quinoa is what I had on hand.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans
1 tomato, diced
1 can diced green chiles
4 bell peppers, halved from stem to tip and seeded
1/2 cup grated monterey jack
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add quinoa and onion and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the broth has been absorbed.
  3. Add black beans, tomatoes, chiles, and salt and pepper to taste to the quinoa and stir.
  4. Microwave the bell pepper halves for 4 minutes to soften, and then divide the quinoa mixture between the halves.
  5. Place the bell peppers in a baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove foil and cook for 5 minutes more.


  1. I can't imagine road tripping myself for that long, let along with a baby! Sounds like ThatBaby held up pretty well, all things considered! And I'm definitely craving these stuffed peppers now. In a big way.

  2. I go away for a few months and Thatbaby just grew up! He's a real kid. You have to consider calling him Thatkid. I cannot believe it is not even New Years and I am sated - craving vegetables and grains. And here you are to help. Happy New Year!

  3. Wowza. I barely go on roadtrips, but it sounds like it went well. (I mean, after that long, I think I would be screaming too ;p)
    These stuffed peppers look delicious!

  4. I feel the road trip pain. We just drove back from Toronto today (usually a 4.5 hr drive -- took 6.5 hours). Better than our ride there, which took two days due to flying ice and a shattered windshield. I like the suitcase -- it looks like one of the ones that kids can sit and be pulled on.