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    Recipe of the Week | Quinoa and Poblano Peppers

    Quinoa stuffed poblano peppers | Photo Credit Randolph Graham

    This is a relatively quick dish to make. You will love this combination of slightly-hot Poblano peppers, zesty tomato sauce, quinoa filling, and Jack cheese. And with a creamy avocado sauce as a condiment, it has a very fresh taste.

    In addition to taste, this gluten-free dish looks amazing when plated and/or brought to the table for serving. The recipe makes two good sized peppers but the recipe can easily be doubled to serve four. I also like to use four small peppers (without doubling the recipe) and serve this as an appetizer.

    Pepper Ingredients:

    One 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes

    3 cloves garlic (minced)

    1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce)

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    ½ small red onion (diced)

    ½ small red bell pepper (diced)

    1 plum tomato (cored and diced)

    1 cup cooked quinoa

    1 teaspoon chili powder

    2 large Poblano peppers

    ½ cup jack cheese (shredded)

    2 green onions (sliced – for garnish)


    Avocado Sauce Ingredients:

    1 large ripe avocado

    ½ cup Crema Mexicana

    ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice

    2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper



    Preheat grill to high heat (about 500 degrees). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Add the diced tomatoes (and juice), garlic and chipotle pepper to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened; about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until softened, about five minutes. Add the plum tomato and cook until for another three minutes. Stir in the quinoa and chili powder, cover, and remove from heat.

    Cut lengthwise openings in the Poblano peppers and carefully remove the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa mixture. Carefully lay the peppers on the grill. Grill for three minutes on one side, turn over, and grill for another three minutes. Important: When turning the peppers over, turn them so the split (seam with quinoa filling) is not turned over the grill letting the quinoa spill out.

    Ladle about half of the tomato sauce into a 9×9-inch baking dish. Place the peppers in the dish and ladle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle the peppers with the cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil from the top and cook for another five minutes or until the sauce begins to bubble.

    While the peppers are baking, prepare the avocado sauce. Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the avocado  (not the peel) into a food processor and add the crema, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

    Remove peppers from the oven and garnish with green onions. Serve with avocado sauce on the side.

    Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook: vegetarian and vegan recipes and tips for successful grilling with color photoon Sale at AMAZON

    For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

    Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

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