This year I have partnered up with Loblaws to work on their Food Lovers Unite campaign! Participate in several challenges over the year using some of the fresh local produce, meat and seafood found in their stores. The challenge sounded fun and since I shop there all the time, I could not resist taking part!
What is a Food Lover? Anyone that cares about their food! Do you have a favourite food? A least favourite food? Do you like it cooked a certain way? Not another way? Do you like it with a particular seasoning or sauce or without? If so, then you are a food lover!
Everyone is a food lover, but what happens when you are cooking for people that disagree with what they like? This is the theme of the first challenge! Some people like the spicy heat of chili peppers and some do not!
When I got this challenge, I had family from out of the country coming to visit, I was planning on cooking for them and I knew that one of them likes spicy chili heat and the other does not! The perfect opportunity!
Loblaws currently has plenty of local greenhouse produce including bell peppers, tomatoes and fresh herbs like cilantro! The bell peppers looked really good so I decided to make some Mexican themed stuffed peppers!
The local bell peppers are the star of the show in this recipe and they are stuffed with a tasty filling consisting of a taco seasoned ground beef, quinoa, black beans, corn and tomatoes.
I like to make my own taco seasoning to control the salt and in this case to control the heat so I made two different blends of taco seasoning one a little milder than the other. I split the ground beef in half and I made one with the spicier taco spice blend and the other milder. Both the beef and the onions mixed into it are also local!
The filling is super easy to make and once the peppers are stuffed they are placed in a baking pan in some enchilada sauce to bake in. I like to make my own enchilada sauce and this allows me to control the heat again where I made half of the sauce with chilies and half without!
Of course the peppers are smothered in plenty of cheese before being baked until the peppers are tender and the cheese has melted!
These Mexican stuffed peppers are amazing all by themselves but I was aiming to impress my very important guests so I didn’t stop there! I topped the stuffed peppers with a cilantro lime crema (with and without roasted jalapenos) and crumbled feta cheese along with a side of fresh pico de gallo (with and without jalapenos), using local tomatoes, and guacamole (with and without jalapenos).
Everything in this meal was easy to make with and without the spicy chili heat and both of my guests enjoyed the meal!
Are you a food lover?
Do you love spicy chili peppers or not?
Another contentious ingredient in this recipe is cilantro! Do you love cilantro or hate it?
My Loblaws grocery haul with plenty of fresh local produce and meat!
Quick and easy taco seasoned ground beef with onions.
What a healthy and tasty filling!
I made two pans, one spicy with chili heat and one mild.
Fresh pico de gallo, with and without chilies.
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Mexican themed stuffed peppers with taco seasoned beef, quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes and plenty of melted cheese!
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (or one package)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (or 1 cup salsa)
- 1 cup corn
- 4 bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed
- 1 cup enchilada sauce (or 1 (14.5 ounce) can enchilada sauce) (optional)
- 2 cups cheese (cheddar and/or monterey jack), shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro lime crema (with and without the roasted jalapenos)
- 1 cup pico de gallo (with and without jalapenos)
- 1 cup guacamole (with and without jalapenos)
- 1/4 cup queso fresco (or feta) crumbled
- Bring the water and quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has all been absorbed, about 15 minutes, before letting it sit, covered, for 5 minutes, and then letting it cool.
- Meanwhile cook the beef and onions in a large pan over medium-high heat until browned, breaking it apart as it cooks, before draining off any excess grease.
- Add the taco seasoning and water, mix, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has cooked off.
- Mix the meat, quinoa, beans, corn and tomatoes and stuff it into the peppers.
- Spread the enchilada sauce over the bottom of one of more baking pans, place the peppers in and sprinkle on the cheese.
- Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until the cheese has melted, the peppers are tender and the sauce is bubbling, about 30-40 minutes.
- Serve the stuffed peppers in a bed of the sauce, topped with the roasted jalapeno crema with the pico de gallo and guacamole on the side.
Tip: Cook the quinoa a day ahead.
Tip: Make any or all of the roasted jalapeno crema, pico de gallo and guacamole a day ahead of time.
Option: Make and assemble the stuffed peppers the day before and simply bake on the day that they are to be enjoyed.
Note: These stuffed peppers freeze well and can easily be reheated!
Note: The enchilada sauce is optional and you can simply oil the baking pan and bake the stuffed pepper without the sauce.
Tip: Use any leftover filling to make burritos!
Bacon and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers with Balsamic Sweet Chili Sauce
Lamb Stuffed Peppers (Greek Style)
Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
Italian Sausage Stuffed Pepper Soup
Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Taco Seasoned Ground Beef
Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Taco Quesadilla Pizzas
Taco Stuffed Shells
Cheesy Taco Pasta
Cheesy Beef Enchilada Tortellini Skillet
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Crunch Wrap Supreme
Cheesy Beef Burrito Skillet
Lasagna Stuffed Peppers
Taco Egg Casserole