Quinoa with Cilantro Pesto Stuffed Peppers and Learning the Southern Cooking Way….

Hi everyone!  I am coming off of a great weekend in Charlotte, NC where I attended a Bar Mitzvah and learned about some Southern traditions like putting iced tea on the table  along with water, serving pimento cheese and friend green tomatoes as hors d’oeuvres and CRAZY polite service people-I loved it there!

Best of all was the sense of community that our friends had. One example was that all their friends got together to create a dessert cookbook at their synagogue.  For each Bar Mitzvah, they pick a cookie recipe from the book, make it and contribute to the lunch after the service so that the hostess is not bombarded with even more work/expense. It’s also a great way to participate. I plan to bring this idea up in my community.

I also plan to “reach out”  to another friend of theirs if he does not get back to me with his PHENOMENAL white chocolate bread pudding recipe that he contributed to the dinner. You will love me forever if I post this delectable treat. Stay tuned….

Where do you get your inspiration for new recipes??

For now, I’m back to dinner reality, using up leftovers to create tasty/healthy delights. Inspired by my friend’s turkey stuffed peppers, previously on the blog, try these on for size!


4 Bell peppers, kept whole except for tops removed and all seeds washed out-having 4 different colors looks nice (red, yellow, green and orange)
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 1/2 cups diced , roasted butternut squash
3 TBS golden raisins
***2-3 TBS cilantro pesto or if you don’t have, regular pesto (vegan cilantro recipe below)
1/2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chili oil (if you don’t have, just sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Heat up 1/2 TBS olive oil and sautee cooked quinoa
Add in the butternut squash and toss for a minute or so
Add in the salt, pepper, chili oil and raisins and stir until combined
Add in the cilantro pesto and stir until combined
Stuff the 4 prepared peppers with equal amounts of the quinoa mixture and stand up the peppers in a pyrex dish that is deep and small enough to stand the peppers up.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and serve with salad, more of the inside mixture or anything you like.

***Cilantro Pesto:
1 cup raw cashews, can also try with other nuts
1 cup packed cilantro, washed
1 tsp honey
juice of 1 lemon
one tsp lemon juice
1 TBS almond flour or ground almonds
1/2 tsp salt

Puree in a food processor and freeze in small amounts.


4 Responses

  1. The middle school here had a fundraiser for an upcoming music trip. It was a chili cookoff; 21 folks donated meat chili and about 10 folks donated veggie or vegan chili. We voted on the winners, as well as on the best homemade guacamole. This is where I pick up some great chili recipes.
    By the way, our son – the one you taught! – was the only kid who cooked something. AND HE WON! His prize was chili powder and hot sauce handcrafted by a neighbor, who also grows and grills the chilis….

    groovy town.

    1. Wow, that is great that he cooked and won! What an inspiration and what a great idea for a fundraiser!

  2. Alma, have you ever traveled to the Midwest? It would be fun to here about your experiences with food in other parts of the country too! Yes, Southern hospitality is second to none. I just love visiting my friends in Nashville… a perfect combination of comfort and congeniality! They have held onto so many traditions. It’s wonderful. I love iced tea too (as you know!) but not sweet tea! Yuck.

  3. Not only have I traveled to the Midwest but I lived in WI for 5 years! You must watch my MN video from 2 years ago 🙂

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