Week Three: Rainbow Week
Welcome to rainbow week, where the focus is on colorful foods that span the spectrum! Though today’s recipe would be equally at home during international week: tender roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a Thai curry-inspired quinoa filling. But once I assembled these little beauties and saw how vibrant and colorful they were, I knew they’d fit perfectly during Rainbow Week. Just look at them, pre-oven:
Gorgeous, no? And not so difficult to make, either. You’ll cook up some quinoa in a mix of water and coconut milk, adding more coconut milk towards the end to keep the filling nice and creamy — and to help it stay together. Think of it as more of a risotto than your traditional light and fluffy quinoa preparation. Mix in some sauteed ginger, garlic, and jewel-bright orange peppers, stuff everything into halved poblanos, and roast to perfection.
In the meantime, you’ll whip up a dead-easy sauce with just three ingredients: coconut milk, peanut buttery, and Thai curry paste (plus salt if you’d like). Drizzle it on just before serving and call it a day.
Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Peanut-Coconut Sauce
Serves 2-3 as a main
For the peppers
- 1 C quinoa
- 1 1/4 C water
- 1 C + 1/2 C coconut milk, separated
- 1 T Thai red curry paste (more if you like extra heat)
- 1/2 T coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T ginger, grated
- 1 orange or red pepper, diced
- 4 poblano peppers
For the sauce
- Scant 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 T Thai red curry paste
- Dash salt (to taste)
First, start preparing the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, 1 cup coconut milk, and Thai curry paste to a medium saucepot and heat on medium-high. Stir to incorporate the paste. Heat until boiling, cover, then turn down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until all liquid is soaked in, stirring occasionally.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a small pan on low and add the garlic. Sauté for a minute, watching closely so it doesn’t burn, then add the ginger. Stir to combine and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the diced pepper and turn the heat up to medium-low. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pepper is soft. Turn off stove and remove from heat.
When all the liquid is soaked in to the quinoa, remove cover, turn heat to low, and stir in the extra 1/2 cup coconut milk, adding a few tablespoons at a time and stirring when you add it, until just absorbed. Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚F, grab a 9″ x 9″ baking pan, and prepare the poblanos for stuffing. Slice them in half, shake out seeds, and remove any pith.
To stuff the peppers, it’s easiest to squeeze them in one hand while using your other hand to spoon in the filling. Press down with the spoon to spread it throughout the pepper. Fill just to the top. (Reserve any extra quinoa for spooning over the cooked poblanos later.)
Place stuffed poblanos in a baking dish (see photo), cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
While baking, make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, salting to taste, and set aside.
When the peppers are tender, remove from the oven and let sit for a minute or two. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.
- For a less spicy version, use four green bell peppers instead. Slice the tops off, remove seeds and pith, and stuff.
- Feel free to add additional veggies to the quinoa mixture; just be sure to chop them small.