Monday, July 23, 2012

Quinoa in peppers - A yellow tribute to Barbara Harris

I have heard and read much about cancer through a cousin who is a dedicated oncologist, but not witnessed the trauma with someone in the immediate or next extended family. Cases of distant relatives or some friends of someone would be discussed. That is about it.
It is not easy to write anything about someone you did not know but through her posts, but it does sadden you when you are aware that you will not be interacting with this person anymore however much you desire. Barbara Harris was one such blogger whose posts I read through, but never interacted. All I can say is that she has been very courageous through her battle against her cancer and did not decide to let go easily. She has through her blog created awareness towards and for  the many who are battling yet.
In tribute to the departed, this month's Monthly Mingle is dedicated to A Taste of  Yellow and is hosted by Jeanne of Cook Sister in line with Barbara's popular 2007,  LiveStrong with a Taste of Yellow event. This would be my entry to the same.

I had read the many benefits of quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) the wonder grain when looking up whole grains and through many bloggers who create fabulous dishes with the same. I was hoping that I might find the grain sometime and try cooking the same. I picked up a small packet from one of the superstores in my daughter's town. Yet I was very apprehensive to cook it for there was so much said about the nutty flavour it imparts and the chewiness and so on.
I kept reading more about the health benefits and decided that I shall try a simple recipe to sample our acceptance. And wonder of wonders that one store in my city had stocked organic quinoa and the cooking instructions were simple. That was all I needed to get my motivation, and even more wonder is that both my husband and myself liked it so much that I am off to the store to pick up the two lone packs in the aisle lest they bring more stock!

My husband would have shunned if I made a salad as I would with couscous; I did not want to use it in dosa or pancake for the reason I had to taste the grain as is and not adding it in some form where I might mask the taste. Thus I cooked the quinoa as instructed on the pack and added just vegetables to it with mild and necessary flavours with salt. I retained the lower half of the peppers and filled the quinoa along with the vegetables and put it in the oven to just grill. That was our lunch on the weekend and I must say that it was sumptuously filling.

My yellow and coloured peppers with their quinoa vegetable filling are for the Taste of Yellow Mingle.

1/2 cup quinoa
6 bell peppers of different colours
4 teaspoons cooking oil
1 carrot sliced fine
5 french beans cut fine
1 red onion chopped
2 pieces cloves
1/2"piece cinnamon
1"piece ginger (juliennes)
Salt to taste
One tomato chopped  for garnish

Wash the quinoa well. I had to do just one rinsing as the pack instructed so.
Add 1 cup (plus more if needed) of water to the quinoa and bring to a boil. Cook cover on simmering heat until the water is absorbed, the grain is soft and translucent and the germinating ring forms around  the grain. 
Cut the bell peppers in half, clean the seeds and retain the lower half in tact. Cut the other halves in small cubes. Also keep ready the chopped onions and other vegetables.

Heat 2 teaspoons cooking oil in a pan and add the cloves, cinnamon and ginger juliennes. Toss them for a few seconds and then add the onions. Sauté until the onions are soft and add the vegetables. Sprinkle a few teaspoons of water and cook the vegetables for a few minutes. They should still be crunchy. Add the salt and mix the cooked quinoa in. The filling is ready.
Meanwhile pre - heat the grill to a high temperature.
Heat some water in a wide utensil and drop the halves of peppers for about half a minute. Drain the water and brush the outer surface of these peppers with the remaining oil.
Fill these with the quinoa filling and arrange on a dish.
Grill on a hot grill for 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with the tomatoes and a few slices of carrots.
We enjoyed our peppers much and now I am willing to try other options with the grain.

I have not added any cheese or peas as the quinoa is a high protein by itself.
The options are limitless if you like to add more vegetables or flavours.


  1. Nice recipe and great pictures!This is a whole meal by itself!
    Your amma was looking sweet on FB(her birthday pics)Please do convey my namaskarams to her! :)

  2. Lovely tribute Lataji and a fabulous dish!

  3. Hi Lata Raja ,

    I'm Punitha of

    looks AAwesome !!!

    Neat presentation :)

    Keep on Dear..

  4. I am big fan of Quinoa u r right we hv limitless option with it.. Lovely dish.. Happy to follow u
    When u got time pls. check the blog and provide ur comments..

  5. What a wonderful tribute to a fellow the quinoa in pepper.

  6. Lovely bell peppers Lata. I loved the first snapshot.


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Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.