Tonya's March Peppers
Tonya’s March Peppers

It’s No Meat March!  Wally and I take up the challenge each year, we find it’s a fun way to get creative with our food – check it out at  But we’re still busy people, so it has to be fast and easy.  So here goes – my version of a one pan meal – mix it up, throw it in some bell pepper cups, and toss it in the oven!  Wally’s not much of a sweet potato person (I LOVE them), but we get them from our friend’s garden, and with so many in our cupboard, I have to get fancy to get Wally to eat them.  Enjoy!

4 large red bell peppers
1 TB coconut oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 scallion, diced
1 large carrot
1 small zucchini
1 sweet potato
1 tsp garlic powder (or a couple of fresh pressed cloves)
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1 TB paprika
Dash of ground cloves
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (less or more to taste)
1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed if not pre-washed)
1-15 oz can beans, rinsed and drained (I had cannellini beans on hand, but use your favorite, black beans would be great)
2 TB chopped cilantro
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup nutritional yeast**
OPTIONAL:  3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Peppers cut and seeds removed
Peppers cut and seeds removed

Prepare red bell peppers but cutting vertically in half and removing seeds (I cut right through the stem and leave it in tact for the cooking process).  Dice onion, scallion, carrot, zucchini and sweet potato.  In a large sauté pan or pot or medium heat, melt coconut oil, add diced veggies.  Add all spices to veggies and mix well – garlic powder, cumin, salt, paprika, cloves, oregano, cayenne.  Sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Now turn on oven and let preheat to 400 degrees F. Add water and quinoa to veggies, mix well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer for about 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and add beans and cilantro.  Mixture will still be very slightly soupy at this point – that’s okay.  If not very moist, add a TB or two of water (You need a little water in the mix to “steam” the bell peppers in the oven).  If using nutritional yeast, add that into the veggie/bean mixture now and mix well.


Wally enjoying March Peppers
Wally enjoying March Peppers

Now fill your bell peppers by heaping veggie/bean mixture into each cup.  Arrange bell pepper cups in a baking pan and place in oven (I prefer my bell peppers with a little crunch left to them, but if you prefer yours softer, you can cover with foil to hold the steam).  Cook for 12 minutes, or until heated through (and the bell peppers are done to your likeness, maybe 15 minutes).  If you are topping with shredded cheese, remove the baking pan at the end of 12 minutes, remove foil if covered, and sprinkle cheese on each cup.  Place back in oven uncovered for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve and enjoy!

A FEW NOTES: I filled 8 bell pepper cups and still had a little veggie/bean mixture left over – so the next day I put the mixture into a pan with coconut oil and “hashed” it over medium high heat to give it crispy edges, then prepared a couple eggs “over medium” and placed eggs on top of the hash – served with garlic steamed broccoli.  Yummy!
** Since I’m dairy free, nutritional yeast gives this mixture a nice “cheesy-nutty” flavor.  No need to use the nutritional yeast if you’re using your favorite cheese to top each bell pepper.  =)