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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Asparagus and Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers

Spring time is the best time to enjoy asparagus, but with cold weather and late planting seasons, quality batches of these delectable green stalks are still available into the summer. It's a versatile vegetable and you can't really go wrong no matter how you cook it whether wrapped in prosciutto or dripping with a runny yolk.

In this version, I lightly saute asparagus with mushrooms, ginger and garlic, sizzle the mixture with fresh orange juice and stuff it a pepper along with quinoa. It makes for a super lovely presentation and it tastes just as good as it looks.

Asparagus is a good source of folic acid (helping our bodies convert food into energy) and potassium (an electrolyte that helps to maintain normal blood pressure.) These super stalks help us against pain, aging and inflammation.

So now you have lunch, light dinner or side salad that acts as Fat and Happy powerful as it tastes. Enjoy today before asparagus season fades away until next year.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: Think of this as a fresh dish rather than a cooked stew cooking the  quinoa and the asparagus to al dente, firm but not hard and definitely not mushy. Opt for organic produce as often as you can!

Asparagus and Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers

1 cup broth
1/2 cup quinoa
12 mini peppers
olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, diced
6 fresh shitake mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 thumb of ginger, minced or grated
1/2 bunch of asparagus (about 12 stalks), chopped into small circles
1 large orange
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 tbls fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbls fresh thyme, pulled from stems

Cut the mini peppers in half lengthwise, clean and set aside.

Cook quinoa in the broth according to package directions.

While the quinoa is cooking: In a skillet over medium heat, saute onions, mushrooms with a good drizzle of olive oil until the onions are softened, not more than 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 -5 minutes, tossing often. Cook long enough to keep some crunch in the asparagus. Add a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.

Squeeze the juice of the orange over the pan, toss and  simmer one minute. Remove from heat and pour into the cooked quinoa. Toss.

Place the peppers in the asparagus pan, no need to rinse it. Place the pan over medium heat and roast the peppers tossing them on both sides to achieve browning. If the pan is really dry, add another drizzle of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the peppers.

Line the peppers on a serving tray, pour the asparagus into and around the peppers.
Sprinkle with the parsley and thyme and a final drizzle of olive oil. Serve while warm or room temperature.

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