Jul 19, 2017

Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers w/ a Creamy Chipotle Enchilada Sauce

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RediscoverLaMorena #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Hello, friends! Can you believe how quickly this summer has gone by? It seems like it was just yesterday that I was making summer pumpkin desserts in a desperate attempt to channel a little fall into the overbearing Texas heat. That was almost two months ago! This summer has been hectic, but as always, it’s been fun, and the food has been great.

Before delving in, I want to talk about this post. As noted above, this post is sponsored by LA MORENA®. It’s a little new for House Vegan, but I’m so happy to be partnering with this brand that opened my eyes in ways I did not imagine. I invite you to read along because this post got unexpectedly personal for me. I’m so happy to share my food journey with you in partnership with these great products. So please, pour some coffee, settle in, enter this exciting sweepstakes if you’d like, and let me take you on a journey.

#VivaLaMorenaSweepstakes(7/19 to 8/23)
  As you guys know, my husband and I bought a house earlier this year, and something about home-ownership has brought out the full Texan in us. Through house guests, a party or two, and home emergencies like a failing AC in the middle of summer (and the removal of 8 wasps nests), we’ve each tackled the task like true Austinites – with a slightly salty attitude, a major sense of humor, and a Lone Star to wash it all down. It’s been a good summer, and I feel like I’ve connected with my roots in a new way, while my non-native husband happily planted his own.

Through out all of these very adult adventures, the importance of food has been ever-present. It’s interesting though. Right now we’re on vacation in California, and the differences between the CA Tesons and the TX Tesons are stark, but so are the similarities.

When we lived in CA we entertained a lot, and our day-to-day lifestyle was almost curated. That sounds weird, right? But when you’re in your 20s and trying new things to discover what kind of grown-up you want to be, I think it’s normal. In CA we got into wine and we learned about the importance of a well-rounded menu when serving guests. We learned about enjoying and caring for our living space whether we rented or owned. We embraced pretentiousness, and in doing so we elevated our experiences in food and in life. California is an amazing place for this because, frankly, it’s beautiful here.

Top: CA Tesons in 2006 Bottom: TX Tesons visiting CA in 2015

When we moved to Texas we were adamant about holding on to these things, but what actually happened is kind of funny: just like in California where we adopted the pretentious lifestyle of Californians, in Texas we adopted the ostentatious lifestyle of Texans, which is very different than that of our friends on the west coast. For my husband, the change is an adventure, but for me, the change is all about acceptance – accepting who I am, where I came from, and the things I ran away from when I traded big open skies for sprawling land and magic.

We’ll always have a home in California. It shaped both of us, and we’ll never not call it one of our homes. It’s a place to recharge, reinvigorate our souls, and remember the choices we made that make us who we are today. We love it so much, and while it holds so much of our hearts, the truth is we have planted ourselves in Texas, and you know what? We love it. 

California taught us that we can be or do anything we want to, even if we just fake it till we make it. Texas is teaching us how to roll with things, accept what we cannot change, and love things for what they are and not what they could be. That sounds poetic but I’m mostly talking about food right now.

In California, we were all about that fancy Farmer’s Market and Whole Foods life, but when we moved to Texas we were very “when in Rome” about it. We re-embraced Tex-Mex, honestly-made authentic comfort foods, and good old fashioned grocery stores. I missed being able to go into an HEB or Fiesta, and just grab what I needed. There were products that I always had in my cupboard growing up that I hadn’t used in years.

I was reminded of how lucky I am to have discerning tastes with a Frito-pie palate. But mostly I was reminded of how blessed we are to have options on what kind of foodies we want to be.

As I mentioned, this is a sponsored post, and I’m so happy to be partnering with LA MORENA® to bring you this recipe and story. It came at an ideal time when the things that made me who I am in food are merging. I have learned to fully love who I am as a Texan food-lover while appreciating everything California has done for me. LA MORENA® is a brand I grew up on, and it’s a brand that I rediscovered when I moved home. 

This recipe was an idea I had in the pipe lines, and I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to reacquaint myself with LA MORENA®.

The peppers are hollowed out and filled with a mixture of Mexican-inspired quinoa ground, black beans, tomatoes, and tortillas that I coated with a spicy Creamy Chipotle Enchilada Sauce. This sauce is key, y’all. It’s so flavorful, and when the stuffed peppers cook, the sauce browns and crisps almost like cheese while keeping the insides so, so creamy. These enchiladas may be unconventional and a little fancified in execution, but they still carry the taste, mouthfeel, and comfort of their more traditional inspiration.

Hey, kind of like my taste in food. A little fancier on the outside, but pure comfort at the core.

Thank you California for teaching me how to love the finer things, thank you Texas for reminding me to feed my soul, and thank you LA MORENA® for helping me make the connection.

If you’d like to actually follow my current California adventures, follow me on InstagramKeep an eye out because LA MORENA® is taking me somewhere adorable when I return home. And be sure to check out VivaLaMorena.com/SummerRecipes for more inspiration!

print recipe
Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers w/ a Creamy Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
Quinoa Ground
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • pinch salt
Enchilada Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons LA MORENA® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo (7oz), chopped
  • 1 14 oz can whole black beans, drained
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 medium-sized corn tortillas, small diced
  • 2 LA MORENA® Whole Jalapeños (from their 7oz & 28oz cans), chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them until they begin to brown. Stir in the garlic, and add the uncooked quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow the mixture to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

2. While the quinoa cooks preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a blender combine all of the sauce ingredients, and blend until it’s smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan over medium heat, and whisk the sauce continuously until it thickens considerably, but is still pourable. Remove the pan from the heat, and taste the sauce for salt. Set it aside for later.

3. Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Add the quinoa ground, and 2/3 of the sauce, and stir everything to combine. Taste the mixture for salt and set aside.

4. Take your bell peppers, and cut off the tops. Pull out the seeds to make a hollow vessel. Stuff the peppers with the filling mixture (you’ll have leftovers), and place them in an oven-safe dish. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the peppers, and bake them uncovered for 30 minutes.

5. Serve immediately garnished with the pickled jalapeños and avocado.

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