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Frankenstein Baked Peppers: The Spookiest Way to Eat your Quinoa

It’s officially the week before Halloween, time to pull out all of the stops.  For too many of us, that means gorging ourselves and our kiddies with obsence amounts of sugar, hyper-frosting cupcakes, and buterr baked goods galore.  To kick off this year’s Halloweek, I wondered what would happen if we made our dinnertimes even more fun than dessert.  What resulted were these fun Monster Nachos and plates full of Frankenstein baked peppers.  This fun meal offered a great opportunity to introduce my kids to black quinoa, which I found in the bulk section of our local Sunflower Farmer’s Market.  Somehow, serving the quinoa came slathered in cheese, and stuffed in the giant green head of a monster, made it wildly fun to eat.

Frankenstein Baked Peppers
2 cups black quinoa or black rice, cooked
1 can black beans
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon beef bouillion powder
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
4 green bell peppers

To Decorate:
8 water chestnuts
8 black olives, whole
4 black olives, halved
4 small, thin slices of red bell pepper
16 White Toothpicks

In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa or rice, black beans, olives, boullion powder, and cheese.  Slice off the tops of each of the bell peppers, clean all seeds and pith from the inside of each pepper, then fill generously with the quinoa mixture.  Gently place the tops of each pepper on top, then bake peppers in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Remove the baked peppers from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then carve a small triangle for a nose, and a small slit for the mouth.  Press a thin piece of red bell pepper into the slit.  To make the eyes, use a toothpick to connect half an olive and a water chestnut to the bell pepper for each eye.  Then, press two whole olives into the sides of the pepper with a toothpick for the “bolts.” 

Serve & enjoy!

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