These stuffed peppers were a fantastic side-dish to a lovely Father’s Day meal. My dad enjoyed them alongside a bone-in strip sirloin and the delicious Summer Salad I posted a couple of weeks ago!
So picture this. My dad is coming over for dinner and I want to make him something delicious but reasonably healthy, because he’s pretty mindful of such things. I had some amazing Cajun Bacon that I wanted to use for the special occasion but like I just said, it’s a special occasion so obviously breakfast for dinner probably wouldn’t do the trick (although I do intend to use the rest of this bacon for a delicious treat such as that!)
I thought about bacon wrapped steaks, but wasn’t quite sure if I wanted them to be Cajun (plus the steaks I had in my freezer to use were bone-in strips, so not sure I needed to add bacon to an already pretty juicy piece of steak)!
Once I decided to make the steaks in my freezer and a delicious goat cheese and cherry salad, I knew I needed a side dish to accompany. One that encompassed both vegetables and grains… and I wanted to encompass that delicious Cajun spice into that side. When I thought about the flavors that traditionally go with “Cajun” flavors, I thought of gumbo filled with peppers and onions. When I thought about these flavors outside of the context of a gumbo, my mind immediately went to stuffed peppers. It was perfect. Easy to prepare, filled with good hearty grains and the vessel itself was edible.
I used both red and orange peppers to make the display for the occasion interesting, and chose quinoa over rice to keep a more hearty texture, so it wouldn’t just be one note. I decided upon tricolor quinoa because it was more visually interesting, and threw in some jalapeno for heat. The goat cheese added some fabulous extra flavor, as did the green onion, but neither were used in quantities enough to overpower the dish.
The best part about this dish? How rewarding it was to watch my dad eat more of the stuffed peppers than the steak! He even split a steak with me to have more of the pepper! I would say that is a mission complete when you are trying to come up with a winning dish to please someone! I’m definitely going to be adding this to my regular rotation!
- 1 cup dry tri-color quinoa
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 3 peppers, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 TBSP diced jalapeno
- 1 green onion, chopped for garnish
- 1 oz goat cheese
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
- Arrange peppers in a roasting dish and preheat oven to 400.
- While quinoa is cooking, begin to fry bacon over low-medium heat until desired crispness (I like my bacon crispy).
- After bacon is done, remove and place on paper towels, and remove all grease from pan except for 2-3 TBPSs worth. Saute onions and jalapeno in remaining bacon grease until soft, 2-3 minutes.
- Break up bacon into small bits.
- Mix onion and jalapeno mixture, as well as bacon into cooked quinoa.
- Fill peppers with this mixture, then cover with foil and cook for 1 hour, then remove foil and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Top with green onions and goat cheese.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then serve.