I totally forgot that last week was Mardi Gras. I have never attended but I do love cajun food and I definitely plan to visit New Orleans to enjoy some truly authentic cajun dishes. Here is my spin on a healthy cajun inspired recipe: Cajun Shrimp & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. I did prepare some of the peppers with Zatarian’s Jamalaya rice for the Hubs. He’s a rice man. Quinoa just won’t cut it for him although he did have a half of one pepper stuffed with it.
I use Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Essence Creole Seasoning recipe for the cajun season.
Cajun Shrimp & Stuffed Peppers
- Cajun shrimp & quinoa stuffed peppers
- 6 large bell peppers
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 onion thinly sliced
- 1 can black beans partially drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained
- 1/4 pound okra
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Half pound large shrimp shelled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning*
- 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil.
- Wash peppers, cut off heads, remove seeds and bits. Reserve heads for baking. Or cut peppers in half diagonally with head intact (as shown here.)
- Par boil peppers for 3 minutes. Remove from water and rest cut side down to drain.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté onions until translucent. Add quinoa and cook as directed on packaging (I replace water with vegetable stock.)
- While quinoa is simmering, clean and season shrimp with Cajun seasoning and old bay.
- In separate pan heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add okra and sauté until half way tender. Add tomato and garlic stir. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Add black beans and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 350. Place peppers cut side up in baking dish.
- Once quinoa is cooked, combine with shrimp stew and stir. Spoon mixture into
- Add 1/3 cup of water to pan, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle all or some of the peppers with Colby Jack (or preferred)
- cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and peppers are fully cooked.
Serve with a side of garlic spinach and Riesling.[br][br]This recipe can easily be adjusted to include your favorite meats or without shrimp for those who would like a vegan option.
What’s your favorite Cajun dish? Have you been to New Orleans? What restaurants are worth the trip?