Santa Fe Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Santa Fe Quinoa Stuffed Peppers- These Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are Savory, smoky, subtly sweet & satisfying. Gluten-free too!
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1 cup dry quinoa , rinsed
6 large bell peppers , assorted colors
1 1/2 tablespoona olive oil (or preferred oil)
1 medium onion , diced
8 oz mushrooms , chopped
3-4 cloves garlic , minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt , more to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable broth , low sodium
1 cup corn , fresh or frozen
1 15 oz can black beans , rinsed and drained

To Prepare Peppers:
Preheat oven to 400 °F. 
Wash and cut each pepper in half. If the pepper has a stem, try to leave it intact. Just carefully cut it down the middle, leaving a piece on each pepper halve (this helps the pepper keep its shape). Remove membranes and seeds.
Brush a little oil inside each pepper, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side up on a large rimmed baking sheet (line with parchment paper) Roast until peppers are slightly tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

To Prepare Stuffing:
While the peppers are cooking, start making the stuffing. In a medium pot, add the quinoa to 2 cups of low-boiling water (add a pinch of salt). Put lid on top. Cook until liquid is gone and quinoa is fluffy. This usually takes about 15 minutes to cook. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. 
Add mushrooms and garlic, sauté until mushrooms are softened, about 4-6 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and spices, cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir often. 
Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. 
Add cooked quinoa, beans and corn. Combine well. Taste for seasoning and add more as needed. Cook for another 5-8 minutes, until liquid has cooked down. Stir often. Remove from heat and set aside.
Divide stuffing mixture evenly among peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Place them upright on a large rimmed baking sheet (line with parchment paper or foil). Leave 1-inch between each pepper. Bake until quinoa is lightly browned and crispy on top, about 15-20 minutes.

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