Excellent for a fresh summer meal, these colorful and appealing pepper “boats” are filling enough to serve as a main dish for any festive warm weather meal. Perfectly portable, too, they make a wonderful picnic entrée and the peppers serve double duty as a delicious, edible bowl! Yum.
Chickpea and Quinoa Salad in Bell Pepper Boats
Makes 8 servings
• 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained
• 2 cups filtered or spring water
• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
• 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
• 3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced and sliced
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, plus more as needed
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 4 large sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers
• Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
1. Put the quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
2. Transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool (see note).
3. Put the cooled quinoa, chickpeas, parsley, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl. Put the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, salt, and turmeric in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir gently to incorporate.
4. Taste and add more chili powder, salt, and/or olive oil if needed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors blend.
5. Right before serving, split the peppers in half lengthwise and seed them. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the pepper halves. Garnish with parsley, if using.
Chef’s Note: The quinoa may be cooked up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.