Spicy Quinoa Poppers

I have been teaching a cooking class along side the dietician at our local Hy-Vee store and a few other committee members.  This past week our class was all about appetizers.  Nancy, the dietician made these delicious stuffed sweet peppers with kale and wild rice.  My family likes extra spicy food and this was my version.


30 – 36 mini sweet peppers
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2 cups water
½ t. onion powder
1 small onion, diced
4 oz. chopped mushrooms
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t. cumin
½ t. chili powder
¾ t. chipotle powder
3 oz. can unsalted tomato paste
8 oz. can unsalted tomato sauce


Wash the peppers and then cut off the top of the pepper close to the stem.  Keep the stem and then clean out the center of the pepper.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place pepper and stem on baking sheet.  Continue until all of the peppers are clean then set aside.

Place the quinoa, water and onion powder in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover until all of the water has been absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking place the onion and mushrooms in a medium size skillet over medium high heat.  Sauté until the onions caramelize and the mushrooms are browned.  Next add the jalapeno and garlic and sauté for another minute or so.  Combine the cooked quinoa, cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, tomato paste and tomato sauce.  Stir until well blended and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat.  Using a grapefruit spoon, (or any other small spoon or fork with narrow point) fill each pepper.  It works best if you place one or two small scoops and then tap the bottom of the pepper a couple of times so the filling goes towards the bottom.  Continue to add filling until the entire pepper is stuffed.  Place the matching cap back on the pepper and lay back on the parchment paper. 

Grill peppers for approximately 15 – 20 minutes until done.  Don’t worry if the cap falls off, the stuffing will stay inside the pepper.  Place cooked pepper back on parchment paper and serve.   Note: There will be plenty of extra filling to use for large peppers if you choose.