ED: The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
Making sure that everything is done at the same time is the hardest part of planning a feast, especially when you only have one oven. I am making quinoa stuffed peppers for my vegetarian main dish and they need to be cooked in the oven at the last minute as does the sweet potatoes. I can put them in the oven together as long as the pans aren’t too big, after I take out the turkey. That means, the rest of my menu must be either made outside the oven or cooked ahead. This is why I need to write everything down, check my list twice, and orchestrate the event as if I were a wedding planner.
I usually make myself a timetable when I have a big party so on the day of the event I don’t have to think or say during dessert, “Oh my gosh! I forgot to serve the asparagus!!” I am also going to make several of my dishes ahead and freeze them, such as the butternut squash soup and today’s featured recipe, quinoa stuffed peppers.
Last year I made these for the non-meat eaters in the family and all of the carnivores were fighting over the leftovers. They freeze really well—I made them for Rebecca’s family when Fable was born and they could defrost the peppers as needed (it’s one of Rebecca’s favorite recipes of mine!). Freeze them after you stuff them, and then defrost, drizzle with the oil, and cook as directed. This recipe feeds eight if you have other things at the meal. I can serve the vegetarians a whole pepper and then cut the rest in half so that the other family members can eat some, too. I got this amazing recipe from Deborah Madison’s "Vegetarian Suppers” which is a WONDERFUL cookbook and I highly recommend it for many delectable and easy recipes. Omit the feta and these peppers are vegan.
Deborah Madison’s Peppers
(stuffed with quinoa, corn, and feta cheese)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well several times
3 T olive oil
1 bunch scallions, including 2 inches of the greens, thinly sliced into rounds
2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced, seeded (or for a less spicy alternative, Anaheims)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups, more or less, fresh or frozen corn kernels (from 3 ears of corn)
½ pound spinach leaves
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ lb feta cheese, cut into small cubes
4 yellow, orange, or red bell peppers
Warm half of the oil in a wide skillet. Add the scallions and chiles, cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, corn and spinach, along with 2 tablespoons of water.
fresh corn off the cob + peppers, onions & cumin
When the spinach is wilted, add the cilantro, quinoa, and feta. Toss everything together, taste for salt, and season with pepper.
Slice the peppers in half lengthwise without removing the tops or stems, then cut out the membranes and seeds.
Simmer them in salted water until tender to the touch of a knife but not overly soft, 4 to 5 minutes, and remove.
Fill them with the quinoa and set them in a large baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 400. Drizzle the rest of the oil over the peppers and bake the peppers until heated through, 20 to 30 minutes, then switch the heat to broil and brown the tops. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
I love homemade cranberries. They are so easy to make and add such a great flavor to the dinner. I always make orange cranberries but two weeks ago, Alison commented on my post and sent me this recipe. It is DELICIOUS and so I am going to share it with all of you. Thank you, Alison!
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
1 ½ cups sugar
½ tsp FRESH grated ginger
4 cups fresh cranberries
½ cups toasted pecans (optional)
Grate the ginger and one orange peel, put in a pot with the sugar. Add the juice from the oranges and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cranberries and cook until they all pop - about 5 minutes. Let them cool and then you can add the pecans. (It's good without the pecans, too.)
Here is a re-cap of my Thanksgiving menu:
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Cornflake stuffing (cooked in the crock-pot)
Pecan topped sweet potatoes
Horseradish mashed potatoes
Quinoa stuffed peppers
Steamed asparagus with lemon butter
I’d love to hear what you're planning on serving for Thanksgiving!