Smoky Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
4 medium peppers (any color works...but I think green comes out with the best taste and texture)
1 pound ground meat
1 cup quinoa, cooked
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
Shredded cheese (Mexican blend, pepper jack, italian blend, mozzarella, sharp cheddar...whatever you like best)
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper (if you like a little spice)
1 tsp black pepper
Sea salt to taste
Lightly spray a baking pan with olive oil (I think glass works best) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the top of the peppers off (kind of like you do when carving a pumpkin) and take out the seeds and membranes. Place them on the baking pan. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa either on the stove top or in a rice cooker.
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa to 1 cup water. Bring both to a boil. Once water and quinoa is boiling, cover pot and lower heat. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Take your garlic, onion, smoked paprika, cacao powder, crushed red pepper, sea salt and pepper and put it into a pan with a splash of water. Water sauté for about 3 minutes. Next add your ground meat. Continue to cook until meat is no longer red or pink (depending on what kind of meat your cooking of course). Add 1.5 cups of tomato sauce and your cooked quinoa to the pan and cook for about 3 more minutes, mixing the contents throughly.