Meatless Monday: Quinoa Stuffed Hatch Chiles

Happy Meatless Monday friends!  After you read this head over to Liz’s blog to see my first ever guest post!  Oddly enough that recipe also feature’s quinoa- and I didn’t even plan it that way!

So if you know me, then you know that I’m completely obsessed with not only extremely spicy things, but also with Hatch Chiles!    See last year’s Hatch Chile post if you want the deets on this amazing pepper (or if you want to make the awesome Hatch Chile Rellenos that I made last year- trust me, you do!)

It’s not quiiiiite time for the Hatch Fest at Central Market yet, but they have already put their chilies out so I grabbed some!  I’ll be out of town during the Hatch Fest this year so this may be all I get!  Sadface.

I’ve been contemplating for months what my first Hatch recipe was going to be this year, and after seeing the Vegan Zombie make stuffed poblanos I knew I had to make Stuffed Hatch Chiles!  This recipe is inspired by that episode of The Vegan Zombie!  Stay tuned for more Hatch recipes over the next few weeks- I’ve already got a Hatch Sourdough in mind, and who knows what else my crazy brain will come up with!



Without further ado, I give you…

Quinoa Stuffed Hatch Chiles
(Print this recipe!)

6 large Hatch Chiles (you can use poblanos if you can’t get the Hatch)
15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (+ 1 cup water for cooking the quinoa)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder(optional, but if you want a little extra spiciness you should add this!)
1/2 cup pepperjack cheese (I like Daiya!)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F and spritz a baking pan with cooking spray.

Rinse your quinoa and cook it- I use a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio and cook it in my rice cooker, but you can cook it on the stove too! 

While quinoa is cooking, slice your peppers in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out (tip: I use a grapefruit spoon to scoop the seeds out so I don’t have to worry about touching them with my fingers!)


Sauté onion and bell pepper over medium heat until tender. 

Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant.

In a large bowl, stir together the sautéed veggies, beans, quinoa, spices, and cheese.

Scoop the mixture into your peppers- don’t be afraid to get your hands in there and really mound up the filling in those peppers!


Pop the stuffed chiles in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until the peppers are soft. (start watching them when you get to the 15 minute mark- you don’t want them to burn!)

If you’re awesome like me, you’ll top your stuffed peppers with some vegan queso and a big scoop of guac!






Your one stop quinoa shop

I work in the bulk section of a grocery store (Central Market) and I think my favorite thing about working there is listening to people try to pronounce quinoa.  My second favorite thing about working there is helping people who get overwhelmed by all of the different types of grains we have. 

I thought it might be fun to have a series of posts about some of the different types of grains, and I wanted to get started with the powerhouse of them all- quinoa!

So first for the record quinoa is pronounced keen-wah.  I hear it pronounced every which way and it makes me giggle at the different ways that people say it!  So now that we’re done with that we can get right into the good stuff!

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain though we do tend to refer to it as a grain because it’s grain-like.  It’s sometimes called a pseudocereal since it’s not technically part of the grass family like the other grains.  Quinoa is related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

Quinoa has been around for 3-4000 years and it originated in the Andes of South America.  The Incas referred to it as the ‘mother of all grains’


What’s so great about quinoa?

Quinoa is considered a nutritional powerhouse because it’s protein content is so high and because it is considered a complete protein (it contains all of the essential amino acids- other plant foods tend to be low in some of them.  For example wheat and rice are a little low in lysine).  Quinoa is also a great source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron (one serving= ~20% DV of iron!!).  Also 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa is only about 155 calories, making it a BIG bang for your nutritional buck!


Do you suffer from migraines?

Because quinoa is so high in magnesium it is a great idea to add some to your diet if you suffer from migraines.  Magnesium is a mineral, and it helps relax blood vessels and could help prevent migraines.  Increased intake of magnesium has been shown to be related to a reduced frequency of headache episodes reported by migraine sufferers.

Since we’re talking about magnesium and relaxed blood vessels, quinoa is also great for your heart!  It can help decrease hypertension and rates of heart disease!



In it’s natural state, quinoa has a coating of something called saponin for protection.  This makes it bitter so that nothing will want to eat it.  Saponin is toxic and can be irritating to the respiratory and GI tract, so make sure to give your quinoa a good rinse before you cook it (I rinse it in a mesh sieve until all the soapy-ness of the saponin is rinsed off)


What do I do with quinoa?

You can do so much with quinoa!  You can use it in place of the grain in pretty much any recipe.  It cooks up just like rice.  I usually make mine in my rice cooker with the same ratios as I would use with rice…one part quinoa to two parts water or vegetable broth(it tastes soooooo good when you make it with vegetable broth!!)  If you cook it on the stove, do the same ratios, but let it simmer very low for about 15-20 minutes.



Quinoa Recipes

I thought I ‘d share a couple of my favorite quinoa recipes just to get you started.  I posted them earlier today since I knew that this post would be long enough, so I’ll just link you to the recipes!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Casserole


Well, that’s it for now!  Hope you come to love quinoa as much as I do.

Happy snacking!


Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

(Print this recipe!)

3 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar of your favorite salsa
a couple of handfuls of your fav vegan cheese- I like Daiya

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sautee onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender.


Stir together the quinoa, sautéed veggies, beans, corn, and salsa.


Pour into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle the top with your cheese.


Bake for about 30 mins or until the cheese is nice and melty.



Serve with more salsa, a big spoonful of guacamole, and some tortilla chips for optimal scoopage!




Oh, and the leftover casserole makes a KILLER burrito filling!!!


Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

(Print this recipe!)

1 ½ cups quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
handful of chopped fresh cilantro

Ingredients for Dressing:
6 T fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 T olive oil

Rinse quinoa thoroughly

Bring veggie broth to a boil.  Add quinoa and reduce to a simmer.  Cook covered for 15-20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.  (OR you can skip this if you have a rice cooker- just throw it all in there, turn it on and let it do its thang!)

When the quinoa is completely cooled add the black beans, corn, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, and cilantro.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients- lime juice, salt, cumin, chili powder, and olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the mixture and stir thoroughly.



You can serve this at room temperature immediately or you can let it hang out in the fridge for a while- it tastes even better the next day!  I like to serve this over a big handful of spinach or kale!




Queen of the grill!

That was me tonight!  I was a grillomaniac.  Today was a frustrating day.  First, the speedometer thingie on my bike stopped working.  So I have no idea how far I rode today, I just guessed about 10 miles.  I need to dig up the users manual and see what’s going on with it!  Then I totally screwed up my schedule for next semester.  A class that I had waitlisted opened up, so I signed up for it.  That sent my whole schedule out of wack and I had to re-register for everything.  I worked on it for a good 2 hrs (our internet suuuucks), but I gave up and went to starbucks to use the internet there.  I got it fixed pretty quickly and now my schedule is no longer messed up.  I didn’t end up being able to fit in that waitlisted class.  What a serious waste of my time- that took up a large chunk of my day.

Here’s what I’m taking next semester.  I ended up having a class from 4-5:20, which is going to suck big time because of traffic and my commute, but I didn’t get much of a choice because there weren’t many classes that were still open.  The rest of the school has already registered, and we were among the last to get to register yesterday.

Anyhoo, here’s what I’m taking…

  • Food Prep Principles (and lab)
  • Intro to Nutrition
  • Statistics
  • Chemistry (and lab)

It doesn’t seem like alot, but the labs take up sooo much time!  Except for the whole class lasting till 5:20 thing I’m fairly content with my schedule.  I’m not really looking forward to Chemistry, but there will be more than one so I just have to accept it and realize that I will have to study really really hard to make a decent grade.

I am also in desperate need of a prayer for my financial aid if anyone has a spare one!  If I get turned down for some reason I will be taking one class at a time and working somewhere horrid for the next 20 years.

I only have pics from dinner to share tonight.  It was a great dinner though!  I went into a grilling frenzy and grilled up everything I could get my hands on!   I wish we could afford a nicer grill, but we’re having to make do with our cheapy charcoal one from walmart for now.  Oh well, at least we have something!

Here’s what I grilled tonight…


  • Chicken  (2 pieces with BBQ sauce, and 2 pieces with some grill seasoning)
  • shrimp (with a sprinkle of grill seasoning)

Whatever didn’t get eaten tonight shall become fair game in the fridge tomorrow!  Leftovers don’t last long around here.

Here was my plate:


  • Some of the BBQ chicken
  • a skewer of shrimp
  • roasted broccoli
  • quinoa  (I mixed in a little BBQ sauce as I was eating it and it was to die for!)

and dessert was a scoop of this raspberry frozen yogurt that I made this afternoon.  (the recipe came from my clean eating magazine).  It was pretty good, not quite sweet enough for me, lol.


Well, I guess that’s about it.  I’m going to keep it short and sweet tonight- my brain is tired!